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of Canterbury 


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N A. Abbott 



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•t. djotnas of Canterbury 










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His object. § 2. Visions. § 3. The folly of impatience and of trusting in 
physicians ; the injustice of the Irish war. § 4. Vows to St. Thomas must 
be paid ; physicians must be despised. § 5. Emma of Halberton and Gode- 
lief of Laleham. § 6. Revivification. § 7. Leprosy. § 8. Chapels are to be 
built to St Thomas ...... Page 3 



I. Degenerate miracles. §2. Miracles for the King's sake. §3. Chance; 
losing and finding. § 4. St. Denis and St. Thomas; "the divine gift of 
dumbness." § 5. A man of many miracles. § 6. The evils of business ; St 
Thomas's object in receiving money. § 7. .St. Thomas will not interfere with 
the Archbishop of York. § 8. Credulity and incredulity. § 9. The Water 
of Canterbury is changed to milk. § 10. Revivification of a sucking-pig ; of 
a gander. § 11. A babe sings " Kyrie Eleison"; a dead pilgrim, thrown 
overboard, comes back for his berth. § 12. St. Thomas orders prayers for 
Fitzurse. § 13. St. Thomas supports a man on the gallows. § 14. Bird- 
miracles. §15. "Fatuous antiquity"; a story in Virgilian prose. § 16. A 
man of blood, a devotee of St. Thomas. § 17. Restoration of one struck by 
lightning ........ 24 




I. St. Thomas's eggs. § 2. Mad Gerard of Li^ge. § 3. Crossing Mario w 
bridge. § 4. Richard of Reading is cured of fits. § 5. Restoration of muti- 
lated members. § 6. A pilgrim is brought to life to die in peace. § 7. A 
Templar's dream ; cure of the Earl of Warrenne. § 8. An unattested won- 
der. § 9. Weighty evidence from John of Salisbury. § ID. *' Festive " 
miracles. § 11. St. Thomas forgives a reproachful pilgrim. § 12. Responsi- 
bilities of "a saint in vogue." § 13. Distant cures unknown ; revivifications. 
§ 14. A historical digression. § 15. William degenerates still more. § 16. 
Evidence of date. § 17. The consequences of finding an ancient mortuary 
vessel. § 18. Miracles from Sefrid the ecstatic. § 19. William oscillates 
between credulity and incredulity. § 20. William decides to accept the state- 
ments of rich people. § 21. William becomes slightly cynical. § 22. A 
married priest. § 23. Wiscard, the King's falcon. § 24. A starling invokes 
St. Thomas ; miracles worked for a hospital at Shooter's Hill. § 25. St. 
Thomas at Devizes. § 26. St. Thomas among friends. § 27. The Saracen of 
Palermo. § 28. St. Thomas kills a cow. § 29. St. Thomas revivifies a cow. 
§ 3a Miscellanea. § 31. A story cut short. § 32. Comic verses Page 45 



I. Sir Thomas of Etton is miraculously visited with quinsy and miraculously 
cured. § 2. (i. ) Eilward of Westoning in Bedfordshire, mutilated for theft, is 
miraculously restored ; (ii.) a similar miracle recorded by William alone ; (iii.) 
a similar miracle recorded by Benedict alone ; (iv. ) suggestion of partial 
explanation. § 3. The ship that came back by herself. § 4. How St. 
Thomas pushed a ship off a shoal. § 5. Recovery of anchors. § 6. How the 
son of Yngelrann of Golton was visited with paralysis by the Martyr and then 
healed. § 7. Jordan, son of Eisulf. § 8. Cecily, daughter of Jordan of 
Plumstead, is restored, when supposed to have died of cancer. § 9, The son 
of Hugh Scot is restored after drowning. § la Elias, a monk of Reading, 
after [pretending to] resort to Bath for the cure of leprosy, is cured by St. 
Thomas. § 11, Queen Eleanor's foundling. § 12. Geoffrey, a monk of 
Reading, is restored, when in extremity. § 13. Deliverance from the fall of 
a wall. § 14. Miracles wrought on James, son of the Earl of Clare. § 15. 
The cure of Hugh of Ebblinghem, a leper ; William adds another. § 16. 

' With Latin renderings. 


William of Gloucester is saved from a fall of earth. § 17. Salerna of Ifield, 
having thrown herself into a well, is preserved from death. § 18. John of 
Roxburgh is saved from the Tweed .... Page 76 





§ I. St. Thomas's fish. § 2. The Vision at Pontigny, (i.) the statements. § 3. 
The Vision at Pontigny, (ii.) the silence of Anon. I., commonly called " Roger 
of Pontigny." § 4. The vision at Pontigny, (iii.) all evidence from Pontigny 
to be regarded with suspicion. § 5. The Vision at Pontigny, (iv.) the prob- 
able facts. § 6. The Vision at Pontigny, (v. ) the growth of legend . 274 



§ I. Giraldus Cambrensis and Grandison. § 2. Pseudo-Grim. § 3. Poetic legends. 
§ 4. Poetry and Romance. § 5. Oral Tradition the source of early legend. 
§ 6. Prevalence of legend inevitable unless contradicted by history . 285 





§ I. The evil, § 2. The good. § 3. Did the miracles result from the man or from 
the circumstances ? § 4. St. Thomas a true Saint, though militant . 296 



§ I. The parallel between them, g 2. The parallel in facts. § 3. The parallel 
in documents. § 4. Its bearing on New Testament criticism . 305 








§ I. His object 

[589] On the strength of the many miracles mentioned 
in William's book as reported from Ireland, and also because 
of his vehement condemnation of Henry's Irish war, Mr. 
Magnusson has conjectured that William himself was a 
native of Ireland. He certainly has a Celtic faculty of 
fluent and versatile speech, and is master of methods of 
variety. But in part this may arise from a long study of 
classical literature. It has been noted above that, after 
seventeen months of reporting, Benedict was found in- 
adequate by the Canterbury Chapter, and William was 
called in to aid him. Under such circumstances, the latter 
would be on his mettle to show what he could do in the 
way of style. 

[590] It may be assumed as almost certain that William 
himself in his own recondite Latin is writing his own apology 
— though it appears in the Prologue nominally indited by 
the monks — when he says, " We ask the whole body of our 
readers, sympathizing with the brother's diligence — for it is 
not his fault that he does not discharge in full the steward- 
ship entrusted to him — not to ' arch their eyebrows ' above 


measure at the want of arrangement of his words, and the 
poorness of his thoughts.^ He confesses indeed that he 
has deserved a flout, but he hopes for a milder censure. . . . 
He pledges you in a draught from a vessel of potter's clay, 
but drawn from a spring of living waters. Let the delicate 
liquor excuse the uncouth cup-bearer." There is more to 
the same effect, more than enough to shew that the writer 
is not deeply in earnest, not in the same mood in which 
Benedict took up the pen, seventeen months before, to 
dispel the cloud that obscured the light of the Canterbury 
Martyr. The difference is natural. Then the King, and 
the lords, and almost all the bishops were hostile. Now 
they were friendly, quite persuaded, and ready to be inter- 
ested, some indeed desiring to be amused. It seems to 
have been, in large measure, to meet this new demand, that 
William supplied his Book of Miracles. 

[591] We shall look in vain here for those graphic 
descriptions of cures at the tomb, some of them incomplete, 
some followed by. relapses, which Benedict gives us so fre- 
quently, thereby establishing his character at once for veracity, 
candour, and (so far as observable facts go, distinguished 
from inferences) for careful observation. And as William's 
book professedly ignores chronological order, it throws no 
light at all on any developments, changes, or deteriorations, 
that may have taken place in the manifestations at the 
tomb or elsewhere. However, it does contain a good many 
important letters attesting distant miracles. Some of these 
are found also in Benedict's book, and will be considered in 
the comparison, given further on, between the two versions 
of the Parallel Miracles : but others, even though written 
to Benedict himself, are not included in Benedict's book, 
perhaps because they were transferred by him, when he was 

' i. 139 "in hac incompositione verborum, in hac tenuitate sententiarum, 
modice narem corrugare" (Hor. Epist. i. 5. 23). I have expressed it by a 
phrase from Pope, P. S. 96, For the meaning of " i. 139," see \a. 


busy as Prior, to the monk in charge of the tomb. In any 
case, we shall approach the Parallel Miracles in a better 
condition for discriminating between what is true and what 
is William's addition to the truth, or colouring of the truth, 
if we first review his work so as to elicit the characteristics 
of the narratives that he alone records. 

§ 2. Visions 

[592] Before miracles, William places visions. And 
here we see at once the foreign element, which was almost 
entirely absent from Benedict's work, placed prominently at 
the very outset. A clerk at Orleans foresees the Archbishop's 
death, which is predicted in a quotation from Lucan " mors 
est ignota Catonis." Two more visions of the Orleans clerk 
are followed by another — which surely must have gratified, 
even though it surprised. King Henry. 

A Canterbury Doctor, Fermin by name, saw (as early 
as Whitsuntide in 1 1 70) a procession passing by the 
bell-tower of the Cathedral. The King and the Archbishop 
were there, cheerfully riding together. A cross was borne 
before them, and a voice from heaven said, " Whosoever can 
touch this cross, and place on it pure gold and precious 
stones — their names shall be written in the Book of Life." 
Then th^ Archbishop " placed gold in great quantity and 
precious stones on the crown " that was above the cross. 
" Likewise also the King, although long afterwards, was 
seen ^ to have done the same." 

This Fermin, who is described as " a man of respecta- 
bility,"^ was doubtless present at the public penitence of 
King Henry in July 1174 when he promised a large sum 
of money to the Abbey ; and it is quite possible that that 
event may have recalled to his mind — perhaps with some 
material modifications — a previous dream about a reconcilia- 

' L 143 " visus est." 2 «« \-ir honestae conversationis." 


tion between the King and the Archbishop. There is 
irony, perhaps unconscious, in the subtle distinction between 
the Archbishop, who gave, and the King, who " was seen, or 
seemed, to have given." We have seen above ^ that Benedict 
had great difficulty in persuading Henry to fulfil his promises. 
If Henry read as far as this in the book which the monks 
presented to him, he may have been stimulated to keep his 
word. In a second vision, the same Fermin saw the crypt, 
" where the Martyr's body rested for several years',' * fre- 
quented by multitudes of queens, and a golden cross with 
a man crucified on it. Neither of these visions is attested. 
But the last is remarkable as indicating a late date. For 
the body "rested" in the crypt till 1220. It would appear 
that William's book has been re-edited here. 

[593] More interesting — and, from internal evidence, 
much earlier — is a vision that must have occurred before 
the canonization of St. Thomas in February 1 1 73. Reginald, 
priest of Wretham near Norwich, dreamed that he went into 
a chapel to hear divine service, and found monks in white 
standing before the choir and engaged in a commemoration 
of the Saints. " When this was finished, the one on the 
south [side of the altar] signed with his hand to the one 
on the north to make a memorial to the Martyr Thomas." 
As the other did not understand, the first said aloud that an 
antiphon was to be sung to the holy Martyr. The second 
replied that it was not " authentic " : ^ for Thomas had not 
yet been placed by papal authority in the list of martyrs. 
To which the former patriotically answered, " Then at least 
let it be sung in English." After this had been done, the 
former thus addressed Reginald : " Brother, you have heard 
our antiphon. Go tell it to the brother that is over the 
weak brethren of the Church of Christ in Canterbury." 
" Sir," replied the priest, " I do not yet know the antiphon." 

' (541). * J. 144- ■'' i- 150 "non authenticam." 


" I am going to say it to you," said he, and he repeated it 

[594] William then quotes the antiphon thus : — 

" Hali Thomas of hevenriche {heaven-kingdom) 
Alia postles {apostles) eve[n]liche {even, or equal), 
Dhe martyres dhe understande 
Deyhuamliche {daily) on here {their) hande. 
Selcuth {seld-couth^ i.e. seldom-known) dede ure Drichtin {Lord) 
Dhat he dhi wetter wente {changed) to wjm. 
Dhu ert help in Engelande, 
Ure stefne {voices) understande. 

Thu hert ^ froure (Ed. frofer, comfort) imang mankynne, 
Help us nu of ure senne." 

This, says William, may be expressed in Latin as 
follows — 

" Holy Thomas, citizen of heaven, 
To all Apostles equal. 
The Martyrs thee receive 
Daily in their hands. 
A rare thing did our Lord 
That He thy water changed to wine. 
Thou art a help in England. 
Our cries do thou receive. 
Thou art comfort among mankind, 
Turn us from our sins. 
Evo vae." ^ 

[595] From some such poetic tradition as this (" He 
thy water changed to wine ") may have sprung the prose 
legend related by Arnold of Lubeck, who flourished less 
than forty years after the Martyrdom, that the Saint, while 

• Comp. " un-couth," which originally meant " un-known." 

^ The spelling '•thu" for "dhu," when combined with "hert" for "ert," 
suggests that the last two lines may be a moral appendix of later date than the 
first part. There are instances of old May-day songs having new appendices of 
a Puritan or moralising kind. 

* ** Evo vae (properly Eit&uae) is an abbreviation of *Secu\otum Axxun,' 
using only the vowels," Afat. iii. Introd. xxix. 


at table with the Pope, repeatedly changed water into wine.* 
But William's story is also of interest as a proof that St 
Thomas was pre-eminently the Englishmen's saint, canonized 
in the hearts of the common people before the Church had 
ratified their decision. From visions William passes to two 
cases ^° in which blasphemy against the Martyr was miracu- 
lously punished. In a third, punishment falls on an op- 
pressor who refuses to make restitution to a widow asking 
for mercy in the name of St. Thomas." 

§ 3. The folly of impatience and of trusting in physicians ; 
the injustice of the Irish war 

[596] Coming now to the miracles of healing, he places 
first of all a letter from burgesses of Bedford attesting the 
far-famed restoration of eyesight (or rather of eyes) to 
Ailward of Westoning. After the letter come the facts. 
These will be considered later in the Parallel Miracles. 
Here we may merely note that the position of this miracle, 
which does not come till the beginning of the Fourth Book 
of Benedict's work, shews that William does not attempt to 
cover the ground occupied by Benedict, any more than to 
follow the chronological order adopted by the latter. 

[597] In the next miracle, Levive, a dropsical patient, 
is a neighbour of the above-mentioned Ailward, and perhaps 
owes her position here to this fact. She is made for the 
readers an example of the folly of impatience. Having 
waited at the tomb for three days, she returned, not with a 
cure, but with cares multiplied,^ and was bold enough to 
blame the Saint. Beginning with statements about " the 
foolish woman," and " the fleshly mind," William passes into 
something like a sermon, " Ye worms and food of worms, 

• ii. 291, where the Editor adds, "The miracle of the change of water into 
wine is somewhat differently related by Roger of Hoveden, ii. 11, ed. Stubbs " 
(813). *" i- i5»-3- " i. 154- 

1 i. 158 "quia non curata, curiosa." 


lift not your voice against heaven." After half a page of 
this, he breaks off with " But enough of this," to tell us that 
the Saint, appearing to the woman in a vision, instructed 
her how to compound a medicine. She drank it and was 
completely cured. 

[598] Another narrative begins with a description of 
three kinds of epilepsy (or " epilensy ")." After mentioning 
Petronilla, a nun of Polesworth, as suffering from this 
disease, it praises her for not resorting to " hirelings and 
those who are not [true] physicians," but to the true Shepherd 
and true Physician, Thomas of Canterbury, from whom she 
departed without knowing that her prayer was granted. 
But from that day she suffered no more. Thus the good 
Physician made good his name to her, as also to one of the 
Canterbury monks, whom he healed of a chronic cough, 
sitting by his bedside in a vision, after the monk had prayed 
at the tomb for three or four days.^ Then follow three 
cures of falling sickness, of no particular interest* Presently 
we read that Robert, Priest of Lincoln, recovering from 
illness, was bidden by St. Thomas to pay his vow. But he 
had not made one, and he told the Saint so. The answer 
came back, " You did not vow : but others vowed for you ; 
and on you falls the payment."^ Miracle is piled on miracle 
for Richard of Coventry, who is healed of fever, has a bone 
caused to vanish in his throat, is cured of toothache, and 
freed from a tumour. His wife and son are also made the 
subject of miracles.*^ 

[599] The introduction of the story of Simon, Canon of 
Beverley, sounds like the beginning of a clerical discourse. 
" Hearing the name of Canon Symon, brethren, let our mind 
be turned to obedience. Let it be turned also to our Rule, 
that on the one hand we (lit. " our mind ") may be zealous 

* i. 162-3. ' '• 164-5. ■* >• 165-7. * i. 169-70. 

* i. 1 7 1-3. The preceding narrative may be noted as mentioning a relapse, 
followed by final cure : " As for the reason, I only know that the Lord knows." 


to prefer the will of the orthodox to our own, and on the 
other hand we may learn habitually to restrain ourselves 
within the bounds of the discipline of the Rule. By the 
one practice we avoid the sin of idolatry," etc., etc.'^ The 
gibes against physicians are far more frequent in William 
than in Benedict. Radulf of (?) Chingford,^ a man of letters, 
was thus addressed by his doctor : " I return to you the 
money you have given me. I depart. Provide for your 
soul." But the sick man replied, " You have not seen yet. 
Wait till you know and see " : and he began to amend on 
the day (for he had counted the days) when his votive 
candle was lighted at St. Thomas's tomb.'' William, a clerk 
of Lincoln, cured by the Martyr, had gained nothing from 
doctors except expense, and except despair.^" When the 
King's own physicians examined Ralph de la Saussaie they 
said his soul would be out of his body in a week : but now 
was verified the truth of the words " I will destroy the 
wisdom of the wise and the prudence of the prudent will I 
bring to naught," for, " fixing all his hope on Him who is 
Day of Day, he saw that day which his physicians despaired 
of his seeing, and following days, too, by favour of that 
Physician, slain [of men], to whom he devoted himself as a 
pilgrim." " 

[600] Ralph was engaged in the Irish war when this 
happened to him ; and the narrative, which says that 
" when the high and mighty King of England invaded 
Ireland, many of those about his person were attacked with 
divers plagues and pestilence," indirectly suggests that the 
war was not a just one. This is more distinctly stated in 
the case of a "young man from the place called Marcha- 

'f i. 175. 8 i. 176 "in pago barbari nominis Chenefare." 

" i. 176-7. "> i. 179. 

" i. 181. The next story mentions the cure of a young man " de villa 
Dyena," wounded in tilting, and cured by washing with the Water. A bone 
3^ inches long was extracted and gratefully deposited on the Martyr's tomb. 


neus."^" Finding himself disabled by the reopening of an 
old wound, the patient soliloquizes at considerable length : 
" If I rightly understand the gift of divine grace, the Martyr 
Thomas leads me from war to turn me to goodness. I go 
from camp to camp — from the camp of (?) sedition ^^ and 
seduction ^* to the camp of charity and peace. No more of 
this barbarity for me ! I desert to the tents of spiritual 
warfare. But I must go to the sacred spot of martyrdom 
and present the Martyr himself with a gift. . . ." What 
follows is brevity itself: "He spoke, and with a flow of 
matter squeezed from the wound he recovered." 

§ 4. Votes to St. Thomas must be paid ; physicians 
must be despised 

[601] Thomas of Beverley was not so wise as the knight 
Adam of Ritherfeld near Winchester. The latter, after 
promising a yearly pilgrimage, set out at once, and was 
cured on the way ; the former, putting it off for four days, 
was smitten with a swelling in the neck and jaw. How- 
ever, he took warning, and, as soon as he had crossed the 
Humber, found himself daily better. These two brief 
stories,^ each little more than a sentence, seem inserted for no 
other reason except to impress on the reader the value of 
a speedy pilgrimage. This point is emphasized far more by 
William than by Benedict. Earlier," Robert, son of Guy of 
Winchester, after being healed in consequence of a vow to 
St. Thomas which he neglects to pay, is thus accosted by 
St. Martin in a dream, " Ho (Heus) ! Robert, you are un- 
wise to be so careless about paying your vow. Unless you 
quickly cut short your perilous delay, you will find that the 

'* i. 181. The Editor suggests '•Marcham, Berks." 
'3 MSS. read " sedititionis. " 
'♦ " Seductionis," (?) "revolt from righteousness." 
• i. 182. - i. 173. 


debt will be strictly exacted." "^ And now,* the story of 
Paul of Rouen, a vine-dresser, teaches the same lesson. 
Being weather-bound at Winchelsea, he invokes St. Thomas 
and obtains a fair voyage to Sandwich. (Here William 
quotes Deut. xxxii. 2 1 about provoking God, and refers to 
the journey to Emmaus.) Deferring his pilgrimage, he is 
wonderfully driven back, while two companion ships proceed 
prosperously. Then comes the moral : " Hence it is clear 
that the Martyr would have his earthly remains visited and 
reverence paid to him as Primate and Legate of the Roman 
See, to the intent that he who was once forbidden to pass 
through the villages and towns of England, and to visit his 
diocese when alive,^ may be visited by all England now that 
he is dead." 

[602] At this point William introduces, in a new aspect, 
his old theme of the uselessness of physicians. A certain 
Roger of Middleton '^ had gained no relief from dropsy after 
trying for almost a year the remedies of many (doctors). 
After preparing for death and receiving the sacrament, he 
travelled with great difficulty to Canterbury and began his 
journey back in improved health. But the fatigues and 
hardships of his return brought him home with his disease 
increased. He was now awaiting death, when, in a vision, a 
youth appeared, and guided him to two physicians. These 
he found to be St. .Thomas and St. Edmund, whom he be- 
sought to help him : " St. Thomas replied, ' You have loaded 
your system with potions and medicaments.' St. Edmund 
the Martyr added, ' Even more than was needful.' Then 
said St. Thomas the Martyr, ' If you had tasted one medicine 

3 i. 174. ♦' Exigendum," the gerundive, often used by William for the future 
infinite passive. * i. 183-4. 

'' This refers to the royal prohibition in 1 1 70, restricting the Archbishop to 

^ i. 184-6, the Editor adds "of Suffolk," presumably because of the subsequent 
mention of St. Edmund, which might be taken to indicate that Roger was familiar 
with the shrine at Bury St. Edmunds. 


more, you would not have tasted any other.' " The sick 
man apologised on the ground of his desperate condition. 
But St. Thomas closed the dialogue by saying that he must 
give up human medicines and resort to prayer alone : " Pray 
unto the Lord, and we will pray with you." The man 
obeyed. Three days afterwards, having nothing digestible 
to eat, he deliberately and against t/te advice of his household 
ate what he knew would tiot agree with him " that his disease 
and his despair might be simultaneously ended " : William 
then proceeds to minute and unpleasing details of the cure 
that rapidly followed. 

[603] One might have anticipated that a physician 
patronized by the Archdeacon of Canterbury would be 
treated somewhat leniently by a monk of Canterbury : and 
accordingly this physician is recognized as being, at all 
events, able to perceive that the of Robert, a knight 
of Bromton,^ " required exact care." But he is also de- 
scribed as " vainly distinguishing four species of dropsy," 
and as handing the knight over to the care of some other 
doctor, on the ground that he himself was too much occupied 
with public business. While Robert was on a journey, he 
was warned in a dream to leave other physicians and keep 
to the physic of St Thomas. He accordingly travelled, but 
not on foot, some distance in the direction of Canterbury. 
A second dream warned him that he must not ride, but 
walk. He begged, on the plea of weakness, to be allowed 
to come part of the way on the Thames and the rest on 
foot* Thus he came, and was wrapped in the garment ' 
in which the Saint fulfilled his martyrdom. On his return, 
being shaken by his carriage, he turned aside to Newington.^'' 
There, after sleeping soundly, he awoke, and " found 

^ i. 187. * •♦ Petens quod vel a fluvio sibi permitteretur hoc facere." 

" Pellicia." 

'° Sec above (533)- It was a place where the Archbishop had stood while 
holding a confirmation ; and many miracles occurred there. 


himself restored to health, except that his feet still shewed 
traces of the disease." In William's opinion, the reason for 
these was that he had not obeyed the Saint in coming all 
the way on foot, so that he had not deserved to be altogether 

§ 5. Emma of Halberton and Godelief of Laleham 

[604] These specimens will shew that we have not much 
to learn from William that Benedict has not already taught 
us, so far as concerns the manner and means of cures effected 
in the name of St. Thomas. 

As to means, the main difference between Benedict and 
William seems to be that the latter lays less stress on 
passionate faith and more on the necessity of a journey to 
Canterbury. Probably the monks were right — whatever 
their reasons or motives may have been — in magnifying the 
importance of a pilgrimage. The hardships of a pilgrim 
were sometimes severe, but the compensations were many. 
Immediate change of scene and air, abstinence from physic 
and medical remedies, regular exercise, the excitement of a 
journey — often diversified by novel experiences and almost 
always by interchange of discourse with other pilgrims from 
different parts of England — all these influences, combined 
with a hopeful faith in the Martyr to whom they were 
journeying and who often seemed to be bestowing on them 
already a foretaste of restoration increasing with every mile 
of the journey, might very well suffice to explain in a 
natural way the cure of diseases that had puzzled the 

" i. 188. He is somewhat obscure, and appears to use " omnino non " 
{i.e. "absolutely not") for "non omnino" (i.e. "not completely"). He seems 
to put first a materialistic explanation, which he rejects, and then a moral one, 
which he accepts. The first is, " vel quia pedes ierat (either because he had come 
\part of the way] on foot." The second is, "vel secundum nostram opinionem, 
quia monenti medico in somnis non paruit, et, quia jussam viam pedes omnino 
non fecit, forsan omnino curari ad tempus non meruit." To this he adds, " For 
with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured again to you." 


physicians of the twelfth century and would baffle many 
of the nineteenth. 

[605] But we also learn from William many new and 
interesting facts illustrating the abuses that rapidly attached 
themselves to the cultus of St. Thomas. Emma of Hal- 
berton ^ ventured to stitch on a hook and eye that had come 
off her little sister's cloak — and this on the Wednesday in 
Whitsuntide ! Her fingers were immediately contracted. 
With tears and prayers she resorted to the relics of St. 
Thomas in the village church, and in the presence of the 
priest and dame Caecilia, the respected wife of a neighbouring 
knight, the casket containing the sacred treasures was applied 
to the girl's hand. Virtue came forth, her fingers were 
restored, the church bells were set ringing, and they blessed 

[606] Next day, however, the girl fell into so heavy a 
slumber that she was thought dead. When her friends 
succeeded at last in rousing her, she blamed them bitterly. 
She had had a vision of St. Thomas, she said : he had 
assured her that her chastening was not on her own account 
but for the cure of the sins of others. " Thy hand," said the 
Martyr, " is my hand. Whomsoever thou shalt bless with 
this hand [of thine] shall be healed from his infirmity " ; and 
he was on the point of uttering the mystic word that 
would have imparted the divine power, when she was 
awakened and deprived of the celestial benefit. However, 
she had other dreams and visions, one, for example, warning 
her mother to continue her customary eleemosyna — three 
masses a week for her deceased husband, and a candle as 
well — as long as she had a farthing.^ 

A more doubtful revelation was that her mother was to 
dismiss her maid-servant. But this did not seem to have 
been acted on. " We know not," says William, " the cause 

^ >. '93-5- 

* i. 195 "donee ci vel una supererit nummata (?) substantiae. " 


of this precept : but it happened that some little time after- 
wards the maid voluntarily gave notice." ^ Perhaps Emma 
had made her life uncomfortable, though Osanna (the mother) 
had not discharged her. Lastly, Emma revealed to William 
at Canterbury that she " had seen punishments prepared for 
a young kinsman of hers, a fellow-pilgrim, because he had 
sinned with a certain maid, and had not duly brought forth 
fruits of repentance." On being cross-examined by William, 
the young man replied that " she {i.e. Emma) knew nothing 
at all about his offence till it was [divinely] revealed to her " : 
but how this negative was proved, William does not explain. 
In any case, Emma does not seem quite a satisfactory 
character, or the sort of person to whom the real St. Thomas 
would say, " Whomsoever thou shalt bless shall be delivered 
from his infirmity." 

[607] To Godelief, a woman of Laleham,* St. Thomas 
appeared standing over against the altar barefoot. This 
was to suggest penitence. " Many," he said, " who attend 
your church are excommunicated. Your priest himself has 
committed a sin and has not repented. Prompt him, in my 
name, to offer works of satisfaction." After giving parti- 
culars of the sin, the Martyr added, " His diocesan ^ Heinulph 
is guilty of the same sin " — and he made known ^ his offence 
— " I warn him to confess and return to a right mind. Else 
let him know he will be cut off this year. He is a pilgrim 
of mine. I am loth that he should perish. You have also 
among you the woman Johet, doing works of mercy indeed, 
but failing to gain merit because she seeks praise and vain- 
glory." Then follows censure of Adelicia, which William 
thinks may be obscure " because perhaps it would not be 
profitable to express it clearly." This vision was not per- 
haps too hard on Henry the priest of Laleham, for William 

3 " peteret missionem." 

* i. 198, text " Lalham." Ed. suggests Laleham. * "diocesanus." 

6 «' Innotuit," regularly used transitively both by Benedict and by William. 


adds that " from the day when he received this heaven-sent 
admonition, he has given more heed both to himself and 
to his flock." Possibly, too, Adelicia's conscience, inter- 
preting the obscure revelation that concerned her, may 
have admitted its truth. But if not, she may have 
thought it severe. And in any case, a person who 
had such visions might manifestly be tempted to shape 
them according to prejudice, and do a great deal of harm 
in a country village.'^ 

S 6. Revivification 

[608] Two cases of revivification having been reported 
above/ it is remarkable that William should introduce a 
third, as though it were an unheard-of wonder : ^ " Let your 
affection, brethren, give me its best attention. For we are 
about to relate something wonderful to tell, raising (so to 
speak) the dead [before your eyes.] " ^ He proceeds to 
make a little sermon about the need of new miracles to 
strengthen faith in old miracles. There is nothing specially 
remarkable in the story itself except that the parents had 
tried rings and charms,'* hung round their child's neck, 
before they resorted to the Martyr's Water : and the case 
itself affords but one of many proofs that apparent death 
often sets in before actual death. But the introduction is 
important as suggesting that this miracle was the first of t/ie 
kind recorded by William himself, and that the two others 
(which both belong to the Parallel Miracles) were later in 
time, though placed by William earlier. Another case is 
accompanied by some lines of rhyming Latin which shew 

' Godelief is said to have received from St. Thomas "a silver ring with a 
precious stone in it," which he placed on her finger saying, •' If any one doubts 
that I have spoken with you, produce this as a proof of our conversation together." 

• i. 160, 190. * i. 199. 

' "suscitantes" agreeing with "nos." * "brevia.'' 

V(M.. II 3 


that the practice of dropping the Water into the lips must 
have been long established.^ 

[609] The revival of the child of the Earl of Clare, 
described by Benedict as well as William,* will be found 
below among the Parallel Miracles. It has a preface on the 
participation of the powerful and rich, as well as the lowly 
and poor, in the mercies of God. But another story, which 
immediately follows, and which Benedict omits, is in some 
respects more pathetic. The funeral mass had been said, 
and the father, Adam of Aldham (or Hadham) had left the 
room in despair, after sitting by the bedside of the child 
(a little boy of three years old) up to the last : " The eyelids 
had been closed, the hands laid across the breast,^ the feet 
arranged, all the exequies duly performed, and about as 
much time had elapsed as would take a good walker to go 
a mile.^ But while some still remained in the room, the 
body was sprinkled with the sacred Water, and it began at 
once to stir. Some conjectured this to be a sign of the 
Divine compassion ; others that it was the effect of wind 
pent up in the body. A few moments afterwards, the child 
shifted one arm, gave a great cry, and called for its mother." 
The account says that the revivification was accompanied 
with an exudation of matter and perspiration — a detail not, 
I believe, mentioned in other cases ; and the chronicler 
vividly describes the " bounding joy " ^ of the father, and the 

' i. 2IO. That the rhymes were not composed specially for the case de- 
scribed, appears from the introduction — "Yet their single hope was fixed on 
Thomas, because he oftentimes wrought like [wonders] : 
' Cujus nomen dum vocatur, 
Sf>es vocantum non frustratur, 
Nam cum liquor instillatur, 
Qui cruore rubricatur, 
CoUum marcens integratur, 
Vita redit, vox laxatur. ' " 

« (758). ^ i. 230 "cancellaue." 

8 i. 231. This phrase, resembling one assigned by Euripides to a messenger, 

but very unusual (if it occurs at all) in these treatises, may have come from Adam 

himself. See 529. " " tripudium. " 


immediate vow that the Httle one, if spared, should go to 
Canterbury. The child gained strength, but could, at first, 
only eat " strawberries and mulberries." However, as soon 
as the pilgrimage was commenced, he got his appetite 
again, " for it was but fit that considering the little one's 
age and devotion, his victual should be restored to him, 
lest, if his viaticum failed, he, too, should fail on the way." 

^ 7. Leprosy 

[610] Perhaps in relating cases of leprosy so called — 
liable as they seem to have been to frequent relapses, and 
often not cured till after long waiting — William felt that 
there was special need of variety and rhetorical style. The 
following is, at all events, a startling introduction : — " Why, 
woman Agnes, did you not return to St. Thomas your 
healer ? ^ You came here once contaminated with leprosy : 
you ought to have returned at least once to your healer 
when cleansed, in order that what was done for your heal- 
ing might be repeated for [his] praise. It will be well to 
unfold what we saw and what we heard in your case. Your 
nose was not a little swelled, and your chin too ; your eyes 
were running," etc. etc. This had been going on " from the 
Paschal days until the length of days diminished and 
Phoebus revolved in a shorter circumference." When the 
time came for her to be banished from her town (which is 
called "castrum Zignien "), her brother Solomon compassion- 
ately brought her in June to Canterbury, where she remained 
four days. 

All this William tells Agnes herself, and then continues : 
" You applied no external remedy at all, except that you 
bathed your rough, swelled face with the healthful Water of 
the new Martyr. And the pimples began to diminish, your 
hairless eyebrows began to feel the influence of the super- 

' i. 216 " curatorem." 


infused dew. . . . And I can conjecture from what we saw 
in you, that, unless you had remedied your fleshly disease 
with a spiritual fomentation, you would have incurred an 
incurable one." He proceeds to inform the woman that 
she left too soon, owing to her brother's pressing business, 
before she had been fully cured, and concludes by bidding 
her, at all events, give her thoughts to her benefactor if she 
cannot give him her presence as a pilgrim. 

[611] Peter, a monk of Poitiers, a leper also, is next 
made the subject of a most pedantical discourse,^ which 
relates how he came to Canterbury and " experienced the 
salutary streams of Jordan — not that old one which waters 
Palestine, but the new Jordan, which, emerging from the 
head of the new Martyr, flows toward the west, glides 
toward the north, and does not omit the east and the 
south." ^ But the next leper, brother Daniel from Dublin, 
is addressed, like Agnes above, in the second person : * 
" Brother Daniel, you shewed yourself to the priests of the 
Canterbury church on the last day of August, testifying that, 
from four years ago, leprosy had been creeping over you. 
In your ignorance of the Scriptures, you did not give heed 
to the ceremonies of the old Law, but, with the simplicity 
of a layman, you asked to be made clean at the arbitrament 
of the priests." Then, after Daniel has been told over 
again all that he told the monks about his previous life, he 
is addressed as follows : " These facts you habitually and 
frequently asserted near the Martyr's tomb. But if you 
had produced suitable witnesses of this statement — else 
you could not have been believed owing to the [need of 
guarding against] false and deceiving brethren — you would 
have been clearly pronounced to be clean among the clean 

2 i. 217-19. 

^ [611a] "derivatur in disim, allabitur arton, anathole niesembriamque non 
praeterit." William is shewing off his knowledge of misspelt Greek. 
' i. 219. 


by the common judgment of all. . . . And the appearance 
of your face spoke for itself, hardly needing the interpreting 
tongue. Nevertheless, we could not glorify the Lord in you 
as we should have done if we had had perfect knowledge of 
the facts." 

[612] It is characteristic of William that in briefly 
mentioning ^ six or seven more cases of leprosy, he omits 
details and sometimes even the name and place — on the 
ground that the Gospel describes the cure of ten lepers at 
once and omits the names of all — yet finds room to tell us 
the precise Irish words heard by one leper to whom St. 
Thomas said in a dream (while striking him with his pastoral 
staff), " Heri acre nech flantu," which " is, being interpreted, 
says William, 'Arise, Irishman, thou art healed.""' This 
might be alleged by some as favouring Mr. Magnusson's 
theory that William was himself Irish. Perhaps, however, 
it is merely an indication that William had a smattering of 
Irish, as he had a smattering of Greek. He seems to be 
fond of quoting technical words that are out of the way. 
Above, when describing the voyage of Paul of Rouen,^ he 
spoke of the " saphon," the " anguinae," and of that " quod 
nautae lovum vocant." He is afflicted with that perverse 
confusion, or love of disproportion, which makes so many 
witnesses assume that, when accumulating and exaggerating 
details, they are setting forth the essential truth. However, 
we may feel sure that he is really giving us the Irishman's 
words ; and indeed there is something different from the 
commonplace English visions in his sight of the Martyr, 
" going up to heaven again, following three candles, which 
were held out to do him worship." 

* i. 221-2. 

• i. 221, note : "The Editor has been kindly infonned that this ought to be 
Eirigh, Eirionach, slanta." Above (594), William has preserved the exact English 
words of an antiphon imparted in a vision. 

' i. 183. 


§ 8. Oiapels are io be built to St. Thomas 

[613] A blind young woman of Pevensey, Seivia by 
name, travelling to Canterbury under her aunt's guidance, 
was deserted by the latter when she could go no further 
through fatigue. But the Saint appeared to her, saying, "In 
this village dwells a worthy man, Robert the son of Elgar. 
He will be the first person you will see. He will come to 
you. Tell him, as a command from St. Thomas, to build a 
cross on this spot." Robert seems to have raised no objec- 
tion.^ Not so, in a similar instance, the Earl of Albemarle, 
who was much more bound to be grateful. For he had been 
cured of more than one disease, and delivered from excruci- 
ating tortures. Yet he did not come to the tomb till some 
time afterwards, " when the miracles became numerous and 
the disturbers of the church became few." ^ And further, 
when the Martyr appeared to one Brother Robert, saying 
that the Earl had not paid his vow and that he must build 
him a chapel in Hedon (in Holdernesse), the Earl seems to 
have refused compliance unless the brother would swear on 
the sacraments that he had not given this message out 
of desire of gain. So natural was it, when miracles and 
visions came into fashion, for noblemen to suspect monks of 
inventing them. However, the chapel was built. 

[614] The rest of the miracles of this, the Second Book 
of William's treatise, for the most part merely repeat the 
characteristics mentioned above. It is fair, however, to 
mention the exceptional case of a blind woman of Eynesford,^ 
who, being very poor, and being unable to induce her relations 
to take her to Canterbury, heard a voice by night saying, " I 
see thou art sad because thou hast not wherewith to visit 
the Martyr's tomb. Thy sorrow shall be turned into joy. 
To-morrow go to the shrine of St. Laurence, rub thine eyes 
with the altar-cloth, and thou shalt see." And so it was. 

' i. 240. - i. 224. " i. 241. 

^ 616 HIS MIRACLES 23 

[615] Towards the end of this book, William seems 
to group together a number of miracles, not because they 
are of the same nature, but because they are attested by 
priests, chaplains, archdeacons, or bishops. The last but one * 
describes the Archbishop of Rouen consecrating an altar 
to St. Thomas at Barfleur for Prince Henry, who found it 
possible to sail next day, after being weather-bound fifteen 
days : and it adds that, in a short time, many blind and lame 
were here healed. Finally, as the climax of the Second 
Book, comes the cure of Foliot, Bishop of London, effected 
by the promise of a pilgrimage made in his name by the 
Bishop of Salisbury at his bedside. Here William naturally 
becomes rhetorical against the Martyr's former enemy : ^ 
" What was he to do, confronted by Reflection as a prosecutor, 
and by Conscience as a witness ? What was he to allege at 
the bar where allegations are carefully examined by Wisdom 
as judge ? Was he to deny his fault ? Truth would have 
cried out against him. . . . Was he to colour his discourse 
with tricks of rhetoric . . . ? Was he to lie ... ? " and 
much more of the same sort. 

[616] He concludes by calling attention to the wonder- 
ful and unprecedented novelty of a Saint who feeds and heals 
his enemies with his own blood. The Lord Himself, he says, 
" condemns those who drink of His blood, unless they be 
worthy. . . . But the Martyr Thomas in accordance with 
his Master's promise,^ * doing greater works,' and in a gentler 
mood, offers his blood not only to friends but also to enemies. 
. . . Wherefore let all without fear drink of that blood who 
desire to obtain salvation of body or soul." ^ 

* i. 250. * i. 251. 

• John xiv. 12 '* Greater works than these shall he do" 
^ Comp. Gamier 11. 5806- lO, quoted above (442)- 




§ I. Degenerate miracles 

[617] In William's later books there appears a rapid 
increase of the tendency to collect amusing stories and to 
desist from the task of collecting attestations. Occasionally, 
indeed, he gives us the latter, and, among these, some very 
remarkable letters written to the Prior of Canterbury. But 
these more weighty narratives are mixed with childish stories 
about the healing of hawks, the preservation of the flesh 
of dead pigs, and other drolleries interspersed for pleasure 
(" jucunditas "). On more than one occasion, the author 
confesses that he throws in these letters, written by the hands 
of others, to give himself leisure for accumulating stories of 
a more attractive kind. 

§ 2. Miracles for the King's sake 

A good many of these lighter tales refer to gentlemen 
and noblemen, and some few to the King himself Nothing 
but the interest attaching to royalty can explain the insertion 
of one that comes early in the Third Book.' 

[618] Alfred of Gloucester was bound to sell fish to 
none but the Gloucester monks. But a pressing customer 
came, saying that he was once the late Archbishop's porter. 
To him, for the sake of the Martyr, the fisherman sold two 
fish " for a moderate price." Next night the Martyr appeared, 

* i. 275 (la). It is entitled, "Concerning a vision pertaining to the King." 

4^619 HIS MIRACLES 25 

riding on a white horse above the waters of the Severn, 
surrounded by four suns : " Yesterday," he said, " you sent 
me two fish. Now you must do something more." Alfred 
is then bidden to go to Canterbury, and to tell his lord the 
Abbot of Gloucester to do the same. " Your King," the 
Martyr proceeds to say, "flees from my face. Never will he 
prosper till he visits my tomb and there obtains God's mercy. 
. . . Go : I send you to take him word that he is to come 
to my Memorial." Fifteen days afterwards, the King came 
from Normandy to England on his way to the reduction of 
Ireland. The Martyr appeared the second time. " Ha ! " 
he cried, "you have not done my errand. Execute your 
orders. The King will pass this way, close to your house." 
It happened just as the Martyr said, and Alfred went so far 
as to take hold of the King's bridle,^ intending to give him 
his message. " But, seeing his Majesty distracted with 
manifold thoughts and fearing that he might speak to his 
own harm, he allowed his servile terror to check the words 
that were on the tip of his tongue." Many days afterwards, 
when Henry came back from Ireland by that same way, the 
Martyr deigned to give the fisherman a third warning : 
and Alfred once more went out to meet the King. But 
again he was abashed. So nothing came of it all. The 
three neglected visions of the Saint did not even result in 
a punishment 

[619] More came from the next vision.^ Guy, on a 
charge of manslaughter, was imprisoned and fettered in 
Stafford. It was Whitsuntide, and a pilgrim happened to 
bring round the Canterbury Water. Guy drank some : 
" Strange to tell ! The iron felt the force of the draught, and 
the bolt leapt apart, and set the prisoner free in the act of 
drinking." His keepers " locked it again with all their 
force " ; but soon afterwards, while the choir of the clergy 

' •' fraenum regis apprehenderet." ' i. 276-7. 


was passing by, the chains were again unlocked. They 
were again bolted. But " when, for the third time, the bar 
let into the chains leapt out in front of the altar " — 
apparently the prisoner and his captors must have been 
in church together — " the priest, full of gratitude,"* hung 
up the chains in the church, and wished to keep the 
prisoner. This the guards would not suffer. So Guy was 
led out, placed in charge of a gaoler, and chained to a 
beam by a fetter round his waist. For they imputed to 
witchcraft and charms what was really the work of divine 

Their efforts were all vain. Thrice did a voice in the 
night come to the sleeping prisoner bidding him " Awake, call 
on Thomas." He did so, and his chain fell off.^ When the 
gaoler entered, Guy related that he had been visited from 
heaven, and pointed to his chain as a proof of it. Word 
was now taken to the King that the gaol could not keep 
Guy safe, and he was summoned to the royal presence. "It 
is your hell-craft,"^ said the King, "that loosens our chains 
and breaks our bars." " Hell-craft, my lord," replied the 
prisoner, " there is none of mine, but the heaven-craft ^ of 
St Thomas is great" To which the King answered, "If 
Thomas has freed him, for the rest let none trouble him. 
Let him go in peace." 

Now comes the reason why the miraculous release was 
not at first completed by opening the prison door as well as 
the fetters : " The Martyr was able, as we believe, to bring 
the prisoner out of the gaol unseen by all ; but it was meet 
to soften the King's mind at the mention of his name by a 
more profitable^ miracle." 

* "gratiosus." 

^ At this point, we might have expected the prison door also to fly open, but 
William presently explains why it did not. 

" "maleficia." " "beneficia." * "salubriori." 


§ 3. Chance ; losing and finding 

[620] Sir Guy,^ returning from tilting, loses a horse 
laden with two breastplates near the forest of Ponthieu. 
He prays to St. Thomas, and scarcely has he reached the 
exit from the forest when the horse comes to him. " Some 
one," says William, "will say that this is to be imputed to 
chance, not to the Martyr. I ask what he means by 
chance." Going into the question, he proves that nothing 
happens by chance, for there is a cause for each thing, and 
a First Cause for all things, " the Cause of causes, whereof 
there is no cause, by the direction of which [First Cause] 
there was brought about that miracle which we relate." He 
does not, however, enter into the question how, after ad- 
mitting the First Cause, men are to distinguish between the 
claims of a number of antecedents claiming to be second- 
ary causes. 

[621] Miracles of finding, some suggesting obvious 
explanations, some wildly and grotesquely impossible, are 
here grouped together. Robert," a retainer of the Earl of 
Chester, loses a ring containing relics of St. Thomas. After 
long search, alarmed lest he should have incurred the Saint's 
displeasure by his carelessness, he resolves to go on a 
pilgrimage, and puts into a casket six silver pieces to offer 
at the tomb. When he took them out at the shrine, there 
was the ring ! " Yet he constantly asserted that he had 
merely put in the empty casket six silver pieces, and that 
he was not conscious ^ that he had put in anything else." 

Ralph,^ a priest, returning from Canterbury to a place 
on the north of the Thames, recovers, on the northern side, 
a spur that he had lost, twenty-six miles away, on the 
southern side of the river ! One of his companions, seeing 
the priest pick up something on the road, cried "Halves ! " 

• i. 282-3. * '• 284. 

3 "nee fuisse in conscientia ejus." * i. 285. 


But Ralph replied that there was no " halving " where a 
man found his own lost* property. Apparently William 
seems quite confident that Ralph was right, and that if the 
companion thought it was an ordinary " find," the companion 
was wrong. It is diflficult to see any grounds for William's 
view except the fact that, at the time of the loss, the loser 
had "deposited a slight and friendly remonstrance in the 
Martyr's ears." 

A pilgrim from the neighbourhood of Bury St. Edmund's 
lost an obol at Sudbury, where it slipped out of his hands 
and vanished as he was putting it into his purse.^ He 
happened to say jestingly, " A pilgrim of St. Thomas has 
lost his obol." Three days afterwards, he puts his hand into 
his purse at Rochester,*^ and finds that same coin. 

[622] On the other hand, as a mark of reprobation," St. 
Thomas returns to a man and a woman, who are living 
together in sin, the two obols that they have severally 
offered. The one the woman finds before her threshold, the 
other in a pitcher. 

§ 4. St. Denis and St. Thomas ; " t/ie divine gift of dumbness " 

[623] Among several cases of madness, or possession, 
one is caused by the Martyr as a punishment for dissuading 
a pilgrimage. The man was healed on making a vow to 
St. Thomas.-' The next case is that of a Frenchman, and 
it is stated that the French Martyr St Denis deliberately 
transferred the healing of this man to the new Martyr St. 
Thomas, in order that the latter, " as being new and not yet 
known," ^ might be glorified. 

[624] Just before the healing of a case of dumbness — an 
infirmity comparatively seldom mentioned — comes a miracle 
incidentally revealing that the monks drove a trade in wax 

* i. 286 " clausuram ligaminis et visum possessoris evasit." 

* " Rovecestriam," called just before (i. 285) "urbem Rofam." 
' •• 288-9. ' 303-4- 2 i. 304. 


near the Martyr's tomb. Cecilia had bought a pound from 
them : " From this she prepared seven candles, two for her- 
self and her husband, the rest for her (?) sick animals,^ one 
for each. They were all about the same size and shape : 
and she said to her husband, 'Were there but one more, 
there would be enough, and there would be one for each,' at 
the same time putting them down on the bed. Coming 
back, she found an eighth." 

[625] Now comes a discourse on dumbness : " What we 
have just related, happened within Canterbury walls ; what 
we now relate, in Canterbury Minster. The maid Melota 
was three years past the marriageable age, but hopeless of 
marriage since from her birth she had not uttered a word. 
And thereby she was free from much occasion of sin, had 
she but understood the Divine gift" After a digression 
about such " gifts," explaining that God " condemns many to 
silence lest they should perish through speech," William 
adds, " But we, not abiding by the Divine judgment, but 
prone to our own ruin, importune heaven, not for what is 
needful but for what is fleshly and pleasurable. Hence it is 
that, leaving Market Weighton, the above-mentioned maid 
came with fellow-townsmen to the Martyr's tomb. But 
when her companions departed, having fulfilled the object of 
their journey, she sat there still alone, awaiting the Martyr's 
compassion. So, because her acquaintance forsook her, the 
Lord took her up,^ and opened her mouth for utterance. 
So, abiding some months by the Martyr's shrine, she learned 
the Lord's prayer, and made progress in speaking day by 
day." Thus ends William's Third Book, with something 
really approaching to what is commonly called a miracle, 
giving two vague sentences to the actual cure, and more 
than twice as many to his descant on the providential 

^ i. 311 "animalibus suis morbosis." 

* Ps. xxvii. 10, quoted above more fully (i. 240) in the case of the young 
woman of Pevensey. 


advantages of being dumb. The supposition that the dumb- 
ness was an imposture is made unlikely by the presence of 
Melota's fellow-townsmen. 

§ 5. ^ man of many miracles 

[626] Book IV. opens with a disquisition on demons 
and their designs on female purity. After a number of 
miscellaneous miracles, comes one ^ (dated by the Editor 
1 173 A.D.) describing the adventures of William, a clerk of 
Monkton in Thanet, sent by the monks of Canterbury to 
Rome. Marvels follow him everywhere. A phial of the 
Water is miraculously emptied, and then miraculously found 
full. A sick person is restored by it. William's money- 
box, deposited with his host at Piacenza, and broken open 
by a thievish maidservant, is washed from the roof and 
brought empty to the mistress. The host, journeying to 
Pavia to catch the thief, is led on by a miraculous guide 
whom the attendant groom cannot see, though he can hear 
his voice. Brought back to Piacenza and refusing to give up 
her thievish habits, the woman is punished with fits, but is 
restored at the clerk's intercession ; and finally — passing 
safely through perilous regions " where, in accordance with 
the Emperor's edict, those who bore the seal of the living 
God and of the blessed apostles St. Paul and St Peter were 
liable to loss of hands and eyes " — the clerk of Monkton 
" gladdened the brethren of Canterbury by his return and 
his success." 

§ 6. The evils of business ; St. Thomases object in receiving 


[627] George, sailing from his home in Sandwich ^ for 
purposes of commerce, and driven back by storms, affords 

* i. 321. The style shews signs of different hands. "Guillelmus" occurs 
on p. 321, yet " Willelmus " on p. 322. Another miracle (i. 324) has Gwillelmus. 
> i. 325- 

i5 628 HIS MIRACLES 31 

William an opportunity for enlarging on the evils of business : 
" For few engage in business who are not enriched by the 
losses of others." Perhaps it is this sentiment that leads 
the author, in the next miracle but one, to set forth a theory 
to explain '" " why the ^lartyr gives heed to vows and 
promises as though he were pleased with men's gifts." 
After stating that, when men make vows, St. Thomas hears 
them, not for his own sake but for theirs, that they may 
obtain fruits of well-doing, he adds, and seemingly does not 
reprobate, another view : " But some say that the Martyr, 
while in the flesh, during his voluntary exile, had borrowed 
large sums to expend on his companions and attendants. 
And, because his sudden decease prevented him from dis- 
charging these debts in the course of his life, he wished after 
death to provide for indemnity to his creditors,^ lest by 
remaining under a perpetual obligation he should make 
himself a laughing-stock and leave room for complaint: 
and hence it is, they say, that Kings and Archbishops . . . 
have flocked as it were to pay their debts to him, binding 
themselves to pilgrimages and various payments." * 

§ 7. St. Thomas will not interfere with the Archbishop of 

York ■ 

[628] A long and pedantical account of the healing of 
a leper — Simon, a mason of Derby ,^ who took the disease 
while in the employ of Roger Archbishop of York — gives 
William an opportunity for enlarging on the Martyr's 
magnanimity in not curing Simon at once, but, as it were, 
referring him back to his patron, the rival Archbishop, so 
as to give the latter a chance of seeing what he could do. 

» i. 327- 

' "de indemnitate creditoribus suis providere." Does this mean that the 
Archbishop had borrowed from funds belonging to the Monks of Canterbury ? 

* " peregrinationibus, pensionibus, et capitationibus." For the early mention 
of " kings " honouring St. Thomas, see 441. ' i. 334-6. 


However, as Roger did nothing, the poor leper had to beg 
for money to enter a leper-house. While doing this, he 
received an internal admonition that he was to try Canter- 
bury again. Fastening a coin round his neck as his intended 
offering, he set out, and was cured. 

[629] A letter" attesting another leper-healing comes 
to Prior Odo from Prior Humbald of Wenlock. Incidentally 
mentioning that brother Osbert (who had been in the habit 
of seeing the patient and taking her an allowance) had 
" written more fully about it," it gives us a glimpse into 
one very natural explanation of some of the Parallel Miracles 
presently to be considered. The Canterbury Chapter may 
sometimes have received two letters. Of these William 
may have followed one, Benedict the other. 

^ 8. Credulity and incredulity 

[630] At the head of a number of revivifications comes 
that of a pet lamb,^ which fell from a bench and was merci- 
fully killed by the owner (who plunged a knife of a palm's 
length into its throat, and afterwards gave it a second wound). 
" For the sake of piety and the Martyr," he gave the carcass 
to his godson, and it was taken into a poor woman's cottage. 
Next day, word was brought that it had come back to life. 
The man went to see it, and took the trouble to shear off 
the wool, to look at the scars, but there were no traces of 
them to be seen ! " Behold ! " says William, " The great 
Wonder-worker called back to life a brute beast! What 
sacred mystery, brethren, are we to suppose herein ? . . . 
We read that St. Silvester called back a bull to life. But 
that was required by the infidelity of the Jews. . . . Was 
the brute revived bodily that brute irrational men might be 
revived spiritually ? Or were we thereby to be called to 
higher beliefs, to the intent that, being assured concerning the 

^ i- 338-9- * i- 343- 


restoration of this present life for those [animals] for 
which God careth not,^ we may feel no doubt about the 
future resurrection of those who were created in His 
image ? " 

[631] This is in remarkable contrast with the sober 
incredulity displayed in the case (coming soon afterwards) 
of the child of a woman of Lichfield.^ She said it had 
been restored to life after death under a mill-wheel. But 
she could not satisfy the brethren in their demand for wit- 
nesses. They were obliged to "suspect the malice of the 
times, because of false brethren privily brought in, who 
strive to darken truth by mixture of falsehood, lying in 
wait for the Saint and provoking the Victor even after his 
victory." * 

§ 9. The Water of Canterbury is changed to milk 

[632] Many cases have been mentioned where the 
Martyr's Water was changed into blood, but now ^ Turbert, 
a native of Canterbury, and priest of a place about a mile 
away, finds the contents of his phial changed into milk, 
which heals a sick person miraculously. Coming to Canter- 
bury and conversing on the metamorphosis with some nobles 
of the King's court, he was asked by some of them to give 
them a portion of the milk : " And when he had poured 
it into several vessels, there was found in one — whereof 
we were eye-witnesses — pure water." There follows a short 
sermon on the mystical meaning of the Martyr in this 
" transmutation." 

* An allusion to I Cor. x. 9. ' i. 347. 

* Among the revivifications that follow comes an interesting fact, that one 
Durand, a Norman (i. 348), "brought his son over to England in order to teach 
his language to a knight's son." Apparently, it was already difficult for knights 
in England to ensure that their children should speak good French. Comp. 
Gamier (1. $820) " My language is good, for in France was /bom." 

' >• 354-7- 
VOL. II 3 


§ I o. Revivification of a sucking-pig ; of a gander 

[633] A sucking-pig drowned in a stream was brought 
into the house of one Walter, once a dean, well known in 
the diocese of Norwich.^ The mother of the family stirred 
it with her foot and bade them fling it out of doors since it 
was dead. Finding her orders neglected, she tested the pig 
again, and, as there was no life in it, repeated them. " No," 
said the daughter of the house, " it shall not be cast away, 
but set aside for St Thomas." So saying, she took up a pair 
of scissors and snipped the creature's ears. Straightway it 
stood up, shook itself, disgorged the water it had taken in, 
and resumed its original size. When it grew up, in condition 
to become a full-grown boar, a further miracle followed ; 
for when his brothers were castrated, he contrived to hide 
himself. Walter, perceiving that the pig's hiding himself 
was a benefit bestowed on him by the Martyr, conceived a 
confidence that, as long as that boar lived, his herd would 
multiply and prosper. 

[634] " Something of the same kind," continues William, 
" happened near Canterbury." A gander had died, and the 
children had amused themselves by twisting its neck and 
pulling out its feathers. When their mother bade them throw 
it out of doors, " We won't do that," said one of them, " we'll 
dedicate it to St. Thomas, for we have heard that he bestows 
his grace even on brute creatures." So they finished their 
sport with it and then threw it under a bench. 

What follows is described in a quaint mixture of Horace, 
the Vulgate, and William's own : " ' Who will believe our 
report ? ' " If not ' the Jew Apella,' ^ if not a Gentile deceived 
by sleight of error, yet at least let one to whom ' the arm 

' i. 358 "agit in bonis dies suos vir clericalis professionis, quamvis saecu- 
lariter, ex rebus tamen ecclesiasticis vivens." The *' saeculariter " seems intended 
to prepare the reader for a " materfamilias " in Walter's house. 

* i. 359. Is. liii. I, quoted in Rom. x. 16. ^ Hor. Sat. i. 5. 100. 


of the Lord hath been revealed ' * believe it in faith. For 
herein hath been wrought a most miraculous miracle,^ to 
the intent that ' out of the mouth of babes should be per- 
fected praise.'^ For when, as often happens, other geese 
entered the house and raised a cackle all about it, he that 
had been (so to speak) carried out to his funeral began to 
raise a counter-cackle, and, as though aroused by the noise 
of his brethren — or perhaps we should preferably say by 
the voice of the Father [i.e. St. Thomas] to whom he was 
dedicated — he leapt up in a flash, and, amid a great clapping 
of wings, once more joined himself in companionship with 
his own flock. Witness of this is the respectable man from 
whom the gander was reared from the egg ! Witness is the 
Martyr's tomb to which that gander was brought ! Wit- 
nesses are my respectable brethren by whom that gander 
was welcomed and eaten ! " 

^ 11. A babe sings '' Kyrie Eleison" ; A dead pilgrim, 
thrown overboard, comes back for his berth 

[635] The next sentence is ^ " We must now discuss the 
resurrection of certain rational beings," and the writer shews 
(in a page and a half) that brutes are revivified merely to 
prove the resurrection of men. As a specimen of human 
revivification, he mentions an infant Thomas, restored to life 
on the day of its birth and death, who laughs when it returns 
to existence. Eight months afterwards this baby is taken 
to the Martyr ; and, when its parents " saluted Canterbury, 
seven miles away," the little Thomas, " in a quite wonderful 
fashion, burst out into praises and began to sing Kyrie 
eleison, though he had never heard the words nor come to 
the age of speaking ! " 

[636] A story that may contain some elements of truth 

* Is. liii. I, quoted by John xii. 38. * •'signum insigne." 

' Ps. viij. 3, quoted by Matth. xxi. 16. * i. 360. 


relates how a German, a former Canterbury pilgrim, voyaging 
in the Mediterranean on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, died, 
and was stripped, and thrown overboard. This was just 
before sunset When the night was far gone, the steersman 
was horrified at seeing the dead man approaching him alive : 
" St. Thomas," he said, " has restored me to life and to your 
ship : and you must restore me the berth I paid for, and 
my clothes, too, for I am chilled with cold." A clerk of 
Canterbury heard this from the steersman himself, and told 
the monks of it ; " and a certain man of (?) Brindisi,^ fellow- 
townsman of the steersman, told us the same thing and in 
the same terms." 

§ 1 2. Si. Thomas orders prayers for Fitzurse 

[637] The Fourth Book concludes with two or three 
miscellaneous miracles. Some pilgrims to Jerusalem are 
rescued from dangers after compliance with the Martyr's 
command, given in a vision, to pray for Fitzurse^ — an in- 
teresting story as supporting the tradition that Fitzurse, and 
not Tracy, was the chief murderer. Recording the restora- 
tion of Theobald, a knight who died from disease in the 
Irish War, William once more inveighs against those who ^ 
" causelessly harassed their helpless neighbours, a nation 
barbarous indeed and uncultivated, but obedient to the faith 
and observant of the Christian religion." Then follow two 
ordinary revivifications. One is after drowning. In this 
case, says William,^ " there are three things that cause me 
wonder: — the restoration, the vanishing of a boy [who 
brought word that the child had fallen into the pool], and 
the water swallowed, which returned to nothing." The other 
revivification is after fever : but in that case William himself 
doubts whether life had departed.^ The Fourth Book ends 

* i. 362 '• Brandaciensis." But the Editor suggests " Brundusiensis." 

* i. 363- * »• 364- ^ i- 366. 4 i. 367. 


with the story of a young knight set on by four men on 
horseback. He escapes with his life by invoking St. 
Thomas. The robbers, however, carried away his horse. 
So he again invoked St. Thomas. Three days afterwards, 
through the Bishop of Perigueux, his horse was restored to 

§ 13. St Thomas stipports a man on the gallows 

[638] The Fifth Book begins with a well-attested case, 
not indeed of revivification, but of the prolongation of life 
from noon till about 8 p.m. in a man suspended on a gallows. 
Girald, a weaver of La Tour Blanche, near Perigueux, had 
committed a malicious theft, and was handed over to the 
judges by his lord, the Prior. Before trial, he was bound 
and cast into a cellar. The hole at the top was covered by 
a stone that three men could scarcely move. He called on 
St. Thomas, and " a dove with human voice " bade him quit 
the cellar. " By divine aid," says the writer, " the stone was 
rolled away, and he rushed out " : — only, however, to fall 
into the hands of servants, who " knocked him on the head 
and thrust him back again, while all the time he kept 
praising the Saint who had caused his exit." ^ Presently he 
was brought before the judges. " Girald," said they, " know 
the truth, and the truth shall make you free." ^ This Scrip- 
tural quotation seems to have been taken literally by the 
accused, as his crafty judges desired : " The simple fellow 
believed that his freedom depended on revealing the truth : 
so he confessed the reasons and motives for which he had 
committed the theft. They said, ' With your own mouth 
you have condemned yourself He replied, * I said I would 
say the fact : let the truth make me free. I commend 

« i. 367-8. 

' i. 370. So far, it is easy to understand that the servants may have rolled 
the stone away, and hidden themselves, to play a trick on their prisoner. 
• A quotation from John viii. 32. 


myself to the Martyr St. Thomas, Confessor and Archbishop : 
I beseech them ' to free me.' " When all was ready for the 
execution, the thief in vain asked for the sacrament. " The 
eucharist," said the chaplain, " must not be given to thieves." 
But my advice to you is to forgive your judges — who are 
bound by oath to carry out the law — as you would have the 
Lord forgive you. And let earth or grass be your sacrament." 
" He said this," adds William, " because it is the vulgar 
belief that the sacrament of the Lord's body and blood can 
be thus taken." 

[639] Girald was now hanged, and kept hanging, till, as 
the day went on, he was believed to have breathed his last : 
" There were also some who shook his legs to see whether he 
still had any breath in him." When they all departed, the 
Martyr's voice was heard by him : " Fear not. As I brought thee 
forth from the cellar, so will I support thee on the gallows." 
In perfect calm he awaited the result, borne up by a heavenly 
hand, till his wife, at sunset, by a divine inspiration, came 
to cut him down, having obtained permission to bury him. 
Hearing her lamentations, he called to her for help, which 
she hastened to give. As soon as he fell to the ground, he 
cried out to know where his supporter had vanished. Then, 
"jumping up, he rushed like lightning into the chapel of 
Saint Eparchius, where the condemned take sanctuary." 

[640] There was no need of this precaution. The whole 
town " turned out to praise " * — presumably God. " The 
judges themselves kissed the limbs they had doomed to 
death, and besought pardon. After the lapse of some four 

3 "ipsos." The Editor suggests "ipsum (him)." If " ipsos " is right, the 
thief must make two persons out of " Martyri Thomae, Confessorique et Archi- 
episcopo." Now he presently takes refuge in the chapel of a St. Eparchius : and 
a letter of the Bishop of Poitiers, attesting this miracle, describes St. Thomas as 
(i. 373) «' calling into partnership with himself St. Eparchius, the special patron 
of the neighbourhood." Perhaps there is some confusion. 

* "ad laudes cucurrerunt " : does this mean "ran to Lauds" in chapel, or 
* ' ran together to praise God " ? 

^ 641 HIS MIRACLES 39 

months, Girald gratefully presented himself at Canterbury 
with a part of his halter. The Abbot of Angouleme kept 
part : for ' virtue went out of it and healed many.' ^ The 
cords that fastened his hands were carefully sought, but have 
not been found to this day." 

[641] After stating that the monks of Canterbury had 
heard this in detail from Girald himself, William adds, " we 
have decided to confirm it by a brief letter of attestation." 
This is from the Bishop of Poitiers to their Prior, Odo. 
There is not much of interest in it, except so far as it dis- 
tinctly claims a share of the credit for St. Eparchius : " As 
is clearly proved by the assertion of the thief himself, our 
glorious Martyr — who, as he was once urbane in matters 
of this world, so now is found pleasantly humorous in his 
miracles — calling into partnership St. Eparchius, the special 
patron of the district, preserved life intact in the above- 
mentioned [man], after he had been on the gallows for several 
hours." The letter recognizes that other marvels of a 
decidedly miraculous nature occurred to Girald in his prison, 
which the writer has ascertained to be true. Finally, a 
request is made that the monks of Canterbury will allow the 
messengers from Poitiers admission to " those more inward 
holy things^ to which entrance is not granted except to 
those who bring letters of commendation " ; and that they will 
be so liberal as to impart a scrap, however small, of the 
blessed Martyr's vesture, or somewhat else that may increase 
devotion : " for they have it in their desires to erect an altar 
to the holy Martyr in their land." " 

* Luke \i. 19. ' i. 373 "ulteriora sanctuaria." 

' A similar but still more remarkable miracle is given later on by William 
(i. 515), attested by the Castellan of .St. Omer. There one man is hanged and 
dies, while another, his companion at the foot of the gallows, is hanged and 
saved. It is said that the latter had a log attached to his feet. But the im- 
pression given by both stories is that hanging in France was not expected to 
produce death very quickly. 


§ 14. Bird-miracles 

[642] The mention of a hawk cured of a broken leg, 
and of another recovered/ leads William to explain that 
these concessions of small gifts are intended to make men 
ask for greater gifts. This prepares the way for a number 
of bird-stories, culminating in one about a clerk's concubine. 
Wanting a woodcock for the sick man, she receives one that 
is chased by a hawk into her bosom.^ Another bird-miracle 
had previously happened in favour of a hawk belonging to 
this same clerk : ^ and now William relates a second miracle 
(making three altogether) performed by the man's concubine. 
This is a beast-miracle. She revives an ox that was seem- 
ingly dead. Offerings are of avail in some of these cases. 
In one, a hawk revives just when the oblation, sent to Canter- 
bury in its behalf, had reached the Martyr's tomb.^ 

§15. " Fatuous antiquity " ; a story in Virgilian prose 

[643] A miracle performed on a lady of Lisieux gives 
William an occasion for exulting in it as ^ " proving the 
emptiness of that error of fatuous antiquity that * Nothing 
can be reduced to nothing,' which proposition, says Boetius, 
none of his contemporaries dared to dispute." Reflections 
such as these are really his object, not the narration of 
facts. Moral maxims, and devices of style, are always in 
his mind. He ought before this, he says,^ to have related 
the wonderful recovery of Guy, Count de Nevers ; but, since 
that task demanded " a higher style and more elaborate 
compliance," ^ he had put off the reader for a time with 
" such fare as he had at hand." 

[644] In the same spirit, now,* having to relate the 
cures of Margaret of Hullavington (Wilts ?) and Sygerid 

1 i. 388. 2 j. 291. 3 j, 290. * i. 389. 

* i. 394. 2 i_ 285. ^ "paratius obsequium." * i. 395-6. 


of Yorkshire, he makes a little drama of them. First comes 
" brother William " [i.e. himself], " returning to the shrine 
to hear what new thing the people brought." Then follow 
two long orations, in florid Latinity, from the father and 
the husband of the two women. The stories themselves 
are not of interest, except that the first gives a glimpse 
into the life of school-girls in the twelfth century.^ 

[645] In the next story,® William, a clerk of York, 
narrates, in tags of Virgilian verse, how he kept back a 
piece of money destined by his dying mother for the 
Martyr, who clearly manifested that he would insist on 
his rights in accordance with " that saying of Justinian, 
' Legacies go straight to the legatee.' " First a fever, and 
then a vision, brought the defaulter to a better mind : 
" * Why,' said St. Thomas, raising his staff as though to 
dash my eyes out, ' why have you all this time kept back my 
money ? You shall not do it for nothing.' " " The sinner 
awoke shrieking, and hastened to Canterbury with an 
offering of his own in addition to his mother's. 

^ 16. A man of blood, a devotee of St. Thomas 

[646] Among a number of miracles wrought for French- 
men of noble birth comes the revivification of Hugh de 

* Margaret speaks in the first person through her father : " My parents had 
delivered me at the age of five to the study of letters, that, according to the 
word of the Wise Man, I might become wiser, and, when arriving at the age 
of understanding, might possess self-control (gubemacula)." Playing with her 
school-fellows, she fell on a knife. The "patronus" of the church where this 
happened came in with his " vicarius," and sewed up the wound, which was 
big enough to allow of the insertion of three fingers. Next day it had \'anished. 
The girl had invoked St. Thomas. 

' i- 397. 

T From Virgil, " Non impune feres." The original — condensed above — has 
also "si forte tuas pervenit ad aures" (mentioning the clerk's father). The 
narrative begins, '• You ask, brother William, who I am, why and whence I 
am come. I am called by your name, bom of a father of your name, who, ' if 
by some chance that name hath reach'd your ears,' is clerk and syndic of the 
church of York." 


Perac, of Meyssac (?), of the county of Turenne.^ Hugh 
was a cruel and unscrupulous soldier, from the time when 
he became a belted knight. From that same year (which 
happened to be the year of the Martyrdom), " in all that 
he did, good or bad, he made mention of his last end (at 
least superficially) ^ and, even in the moment of perpetrating 
some sin, would beseech the Martyr Thomas that the sin 
he was perpetrating might not bring him damnation." A 
severe wound, received in an assault on some castle, sowed 
the seeds of a disease that brought him to the threshold 
of death. Now, looking forward, he had no hope. To 
take the cross seemed his only chance. But his friends 
would not let him do this ; he, on his side, would not let 
his physician examine him. Forced at last to realize that 
" men of blood and guile do not live out half their days," 
he silently commended himself to St. Thomas. After that, 
he knew nothing of what went on around him. He was 
laid out as a corpse upon ashes, and so remained from 
five o'clock in the evening till cock-crow at dawn. With 
the daylight came light also to him. " The angel of the 
English " stood near him clothed in white, and touched him 
thrice, thrice saying, " the Lord hath risen," and marking 
him with the sign of the cross. The sick man sprang up 
to clasp the Saint ; but he had vanished. 

[647] The household rejoiced, and the church-bells were 
set ringing. After mass, the priest suggested in his sermon 
that the people should build a chapel to St. Thomas. 
Eagerly agreeing, they at once, according to their several 
power, began to specify what they could give, to measure 
out a site, and to bring the stones for the building. That 
very night, a paralysed woman was cured on the ground 
destined for the Martyr.^ Three hundred women spent 
the night with her in prayer on the spot to which she 

* So Editor's marginal note, i. 397-8. 

2 " novissima sua specietenus memorabat. " ^ i. 401. 


had been carried by others and from which she returned 
on her own feet. 

[648] This moved the people to hold a vigil on the 
same spot next night. But the candles were extinguished 
by the wind : " Then a youth, moved by the spirit, seized 
his own candle, and bearing it lighted through the street, 
cried out to the rest, ' If St. Thomas has chosen this spot, 
and desires that we should pay him honour herein, then, 
in despite of air and wind, he will not suffer the light to 
be put out' So saying, he set down his light. The towns- 
folk, seeing this, lighted their candles too. And for all 
they were so many, not one, during all that night — though 
the place was open and unsheltered — was extinguished by 
the wind." 

^ 17. Restoration of one struck by lightning 

[649] A novel case is that of Geoffrey, a carter, in 
Hoole (?), ^ two miles from Chester. Geoffrey (with a 
companion) was overtaken by a thunderstorm while carting 
turf He hastened homeward, but it was too late. A 
black hairy dog, gliding down in a whirlwind, with big 
staring eyes and projecting tongue, slipped between his 
two oxen. Forthwith, one of them was struck by lightning 
and burned to a cinder, the other had its yoke split and 
went mad. Geoffrey himself^ was burned from the waist 
upwards and fell down lifeless. When his master^ wished 
to have him buried with full rites, the priest replied that 
he could not do it without consulting the Archdeacon. The 
latter decided that, as the man had died by the will of 

* i. 404. " Hoole " is suggested by the Editor. The text is " villa quae 
dicitur Cohel." 

* A reason is apparently suggested : " Se signo crucis et fidei paltna parum 
munierat." Yet he attended the Sacrament on the previous Sunday. 

' " cujusdam Pagani, civis Cestrensis." In ii. 175, "Paganus" is applied 
to a priest. Here it seems to mean a village farmer who had the rights of a 
citizen in Chester. 


God, whose judgments are hidden, and as he had on the 
previous Sunday partaken of the Sacrament, and had been 
sprinkled with holy^ water, it would be inhuman to exclude 
him from the sepulture that is the common right of catholics. 
Meanwhile, the man had been sprinkled with St Thomas's 

[650] It was about three o'clock in the afternoon when 
he was struck. The night was more than half gone^ when 
he came to life — the interval being allowed, as the chronicler 
suggests, for the purpose of shewing that the man had 
really died and was really restored to life. But the battle 
was not yet won. Satan, the author of death, seeing him- 
self baffled, sought revenge by driving into madness the 
victim he had lost, so that the poor man, not knowing his 
friends, tried to bite and wound them. " But," continues 
William, " let my loving hearers but note how weak is the 
power of the evil [? spirits]. More powerful is a small 
piece of a fringe of the Martyr's vesture than the resistance 
of reprobate spirits." And so it proved. Geoffrey's master 
caused him to drink some water in which he had dipped 
this " fringe " ; and " the element, nay rather, the sacrament " * 
had its effect. The evil one was cast out, and Geoffrey 
returned to his senses. 

* "exorcizata." 

* "ex maxima parte perfluxerat." 

* "elementum, immo jam sacramentum." In the next sentence, "malignus," 
used for "the evil one," shews that, above, "the evil (malignorum) " means 
" the evil spirits." 

§ 652 HIS MIRACLES 45 


William's last book and appendix 

§ I. St. T/iomas's eggs 

[651] William's Sixth Book begins with a brief pro- 
logue, of which the first sentence is this : " Certain miracles, 
meanwhile, inscribed by the hands of others, it seems good 
to insert here, that our steed, wearied with his burden, may 
take breath and get his wind again, and complete the more 
speedily the spacious course he has commenced : for ' that 
which knows not to rest knows not to last' " ^ He proceeds 
to quote a number of letters attesting miracles. 

[652] The first of these letters " comes from the clergy 
of the Cathedral of Exeter to Odo Prior of Canterbury.^ 
Their Bishop had been on the point of death, with fever 
and pleurisy : the last rites for the dying had been ad- 
ministered, and the monks were arranging for the trans- 
ference of his earthly remains to their last resting-place. 
A large part of the household, too, was suffering terribly 
from " the influenza (catarrhus), which has devastated the 
realm and carried off many." In this crisis St. Thomas 
appeared to brother William, a young man of spotless life 
and character (nephew of that Archbishop Theobald who 
had once been Becket's patron). Having instantly delivered 
the youth from the epidemic, the Saint charged him with 

* ' Quod caret altema requie durabile non est ' is a hexameter, and perhaps 
a quotation. 

* i. 407-9 : for the meaning of reference numbers, see \a. 

' This proves the letter to have been written before the end of 1 175, in 
which year Odo ceased to be Prior. 


a message to the rest. All were to recover, including the 
Bishop. The apparition was not in a dream — so the young 
man insisted — but in a waking vision. The monks, after 
cutting their " roasted eggs " into quarters in the usual way, 
were to inscribe them with the Martyr's name. Eaten 
thus, they would be a remedy. And so they were. More- 
over the Bishop recovered on the 14th day after taking 
the Water. 

§ 2. Mad Gerard of Liege 

[653] Gerard, a clerk of Liege, had been driven mad 
(by a stepmother's poison, he said), and, having visited the 
little house of charity at Mizy (?) near Provins ^ (presided 
over by Reginald of Estampes, formerly Prior of Bermondsey), 
had made himself so intolerable there that they were forced 
to turn him out. When he intruded again, Reginald asked 
him whether he would drink the Water of St. Thomas. He 
assented and was almost immediately cured. Up to that 
time, Gerard, though knowing both French and German, 
was not able ^ to talk anything but Latin. But now the 
same venerable lady, who in a nightly vision appeared to 
Gerard promising him health, also exhorted him to speak 
what Gerard calls " Romance language."^ Consequently, 
says Reginald, " henceforth he began to talk French and 
to behave with such discretion that we all wondered, and 

1 i. 410 "Ad nos divertens, qui penes Pruvinum castrum Mesi habitamus." 

2 " Non poterat." Reginald seems to mean that Gerard's madness, or the 
devil, obliged him to talk Latin — to the great tnconvenietue of some of the ttnleartied 
members of the house. It will be remembered that, above (404 n.), Benedict ad- 
dressed the Martyr in French, but the Martyr replied in Latin. It would be very 
interesting to know what prompted Benedict to dream this. Did Becket set him- 
self against French ? And was this the result of a purely ecclesiastical feeling that 
Latin was the language for Churchmen ? Or did he prefer Latin as the language 
of the learned ? Or was there a touch of another feeling that in English houses 
of religion, English monks (such as Grim) ought not to find French the prevalent 
language ? 

^ *'ut Romanum jam loquerer." 

i?654 HIS MIRACLES 47 

congratulated, and could scarcely believe our eyes." After 
waiting till the moon had waned, for fear of a relapse, the 
patient was sent to Canterbury ; and, as Reginald had no 
seal of his own, he forwards attestations sealed by the Abbot 
of Jouy and the Prior of Rueil in the diocese of Meaux. 

§ 3. Crossing Marlow bridge 

[654] In a group of miracles reported from Reading, the 
first place is given to a private letter from brother Anselm 
of Reading to brother Jeremy of Canterbury.^ Returning 
to Reading from Wycombe (where he had been sent by his 
Abbot on business) Anselm was crossing the Thames on a 
rickety bridge at Marlow." Fortunately he let his horse go 
first and followed on foot. The horse fell partly through a 
hole in the bridge, and his hind-quarters stuck fast. The 
neighbours came up and did their best : but in vain. Their 
final advice was to widen the hole and let the animal drop 
into the river. But Anselm demurred, forbidden by " the 
shortness of the day, the strict charge of the father [Abbot], 
the quick approach of night, and the length of the journey." 
So they bade him good night and left him. Then, says 
Anselm, in bitterness of soul, being left quite alone on the 
bridge, " drawing sighs from my very marrow, I began to 
invoke the blessed Martyr Thomas, whose sacred gifts I was 
wearing round my neck. Wonderful to relate ! Forthwith, 
in some way past telling, without human support, at my in- 
vocation of the blessed Martyr, the Lord set the horse on his 
feet, and directed my steps, and placed in my mouth a new 
song, even a thanksgiving to our God who is over all things, 
blessed for ever." 

' i. 415. * "apud villain Merelave."' 


§ 4. Richard of Reading is cured of fits 

[655] There follows a cure of leprosy described below in 
the Parallel Miracles, and then the cure of a brother Richard^ 
of Reading, who had fallen down in a fit in the choir. When 
placed in the infirmary, Richard had been at one time 
motionless, and seemingly lifeless ; at another, so violent 
that five men could not keep him in bed. The brethren, 
flocking round him in sorrow, obtained the Abbot's assent 
(this seems a proof that the miracle is an early one) to devote 
the patient to St. Thomas. Then, by degrees, he began to 
amend. Presently the Martyr appears to him in a vision 
with messages to Joseph, the Abbot, and Edward, the Prior. 
He adds," I have a long journey before me ; this night must 
I cure a hundred and thirteen sick folk." Richard prays him 
to restore his health. But St. Thomas, for the present 
merely concedes such use of his senses as will enable him to 
confess and to communicate. So much he accordingly at 
once receives. But he spent many weary days in the infirm- 
ary, feeling that he was a drone among the bees, and a 
burden to the brethren, and importuning the Martyr for a 
further blessing. At last he received a new command : " Go 
into the chapel. Take a phial that you will find with 
a fracture just at the top. Sprinkle your side and you will 
be healed." It seems superfluous, adds the letter-writer (for 
unquestionably this is a letter, and not William's production), 
to ask whether he obeyed. 

^ 5. Restoration of viutilated members 

[656] Next comes a very important letter from Hugh de 
Puiset, Bishop of Durham, attesting the restoration of the 
mutilated parts to a man punished for theft,^ followed by 
a narrative describing how the judge who had condemned the 

' i. 417-9. ' i. 419-22. 


man, happening to be himself in Canterbury Cathedral when 
the latter came on a pilgrimage of gratitude, confirmed the 
truth of the man's story. But this will be best considered 
with the similar miracle on Ailward (above mentioned),' 
attested by the burgesses of Bedford, and related below 
among the Parallel Miracles.^ With this is grouped another 
case * (also from the diocese of Durham) where a boy in the 
house of one Roger de Burnebi loses his middle finger, which 
comes off as the result of a disease of the bone — and receives 
another in its place, though not so large as the original. 
Then comes the case of a clerk, mutilated by a jealous 
husband, attested by a letter from Richard Becke, Bishop of 
Coventry, addressed to Richard, Becket's successor as Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury. The physiological question, and 
possibilities of self-deception or fraud, are best considered by 
experts, in connection with Ailward's miracle, and the similar 
one just now mentioned. It is introduced, in abominable 
taste, with a pun borrowed from Plautus,^ and accompanied 
by some still more distasteful punning verses. 

^ 6. A pilgrim brought to life to die in peace 

[657] After some narratives of visions, and one of 
relighted candles, comes a story about a pilgrim who dies on 
his return from Canterbury at St. Maurice unhouselled, in 
consequence of the scruples of the Abbot to give him the 
sacrament after he (the Abbot) had taken " carnal food." ^ 
Soothing the man's anxiety, the Abbot had actually ventured 
to promise him that his life would last till next morning. 

» 543. 596. 3 710. ♦ i. 423-4. 

* i. 427-8. The Bishop of Coventry is called by William "The Bishop of 
Chester (Ceslrensis) of venerable memory," which would imply that he was dead 
at the time of William's writing. In the following narratives, one (i. 431) bears 
on the question, above touched on (589)> whether William was an Irishman or 
understood Irish. A kinsman of Roderick, king of Connaught, brings with him 
" a monk as interpreter." No suggestion is made that the Irishman could have 
been understood by William without an interpreter. • i. 439. 



But he died about midnight, and the Abbot was now in an 
agony of remorse. While he was tearing his hair and rending 
his cheeks by the pilgrim's bed-side, the dead man sat up. 
" Do not flee," he said to the terrified monks. " By the merits 
of St. Thomas, and this man's prayers, I am restored to life 
that I may not be deprived of the viaticum." The Abbot, 
with all alacrity of devotion, at once celebrated the sacred 
mysteries for the man who had come to life for this purpose, 
and who, " having been helped by the viaticum toward that 
which is life indeed, delivered up his spirit, and rested in the 

^ y. A Templar's dream; cure of tJie Earl of Warrenne 

[658] A very wild dream of a Templar, who lived at 
(?) Lillieshalle,^ in the diocese of Chester, recounts how he had 
visions of the blessed Mary, St. Edmund, and St. Leonard, 
scraping his disease away from his bowels. But St. Thomas, 
he continues, " seeing that they had not quite removed the 
mischief, as though in anger, plunged both his feet into my 
intestines, and ejected the remnant of my disease." He was 
in a terrible condition afterwards, but recovered, because of 
his invocations to St. Thomas, after lying apparently dead 
for a whole night. The story is remarkable for its intro- 
duction : " Let my loving brethren hear what the English 
King, when a pilgrim at the Martyr's tomb, heard from 
brother Robert, minister of the Temple at Jerusalem." This 
was in July 1 1 74. 

[659] Another miracle that might have interested King 
Henry was that of Hameline, Earl of Warrenne, his bastard 
brother. In old days," Hameline had called Becket a traitor, 
and Becket had called him a scoundrel and a bastard. This 
might appear to make things even between them. William, 
however, recounting the Earl's semi-blindness, and its cure by 

1 i. 440. Text "villa Beleshale." ^ i. 39. 

.^ 661 HIS MIRACLES 51 

a relic of the Martyr, puts the case rather unevenly, thus : 
" For as the justice of God required that the sinner should be 
punished, so the compassion of heaven required that he 
should experience the power after death, of him whom he had 
called traitor while he was alive." ^ 

§ 8. A» unattested wonder 

[660] It is surprising that William makes no attempt to 
attest, or apology for inserting without attestation, a miracle 
of revivification after seven days of apparent death. Yet he 
justly comments on the wonder as unique in his experience : 
" Bethany has seen a four days' corpse revived ; England 
(like other countries) has often seen a two days' or three 
days' case : but the Lamp of England enlightens the land of 
Touraine still more brightly." And then he relates how the 
father of two sons, one of whom had thrown the other down 
from a tower, refused to bury the child, though his neck was 
broken. Trusting in SL Thomas, he persisted for seven 
days, after which time the boy opened his mouth and asked 
for something to drink. No vow is mentioned, no pilgrim- 
age, no letter of attestation, no attempt to attest.^ 

§ 9. Weighty evidence from John of Salisbury 

[661] In contrast with this, comes a weighty letter from 
John of Salisbury. At an assembly at Bourges, he says, 
consisting of bishops and nobles convened by the King of 
France, the Bishop of Clermont publicly related miracles 
wrought by St. Thomas. Being asked whether he had seen 
one of these miracles with his own eyes, he answered that 
there was in Clermont a knight named John the Scot, " who 
had as large rents in the city as the Bishop," and who, having 
been seized with leprosy, had been cut off, in the ordinary 
way, by the decision of the clergy and laity, from public 

' i. 452- * >• 444. 


intercourse, being abandoned also by his wife. This leper, 
having gone to Canterbury, after the long delay of almost six 
months,^ had been cured, and had returned in health. The 
Bishop had begged him to come to the council in order to 
manifest the glory of the Martyr : but he had replied that it 
was bad enough that any one knew he had been a leper. 
On hearing this, the King and the rest gave thanks to God. 
But Count Theobald added that, by reason of his ingratitude, 
the aforesaid John would be a leper [again]. The letter 
however, proceeding to relate other cures, does not mention 
any retribution on John the Scot. 

Appending a confirmatory letter from the Bishop of 
Clermont, John of Salisbury urges that miracles such as 
these must be published abroad in order to diffuse the " cultus " 
of the Martyr, "which, I take it, consists especially in this, 
that the cause esteemed by him more precious than his own 
life — I mean the integrity of Divine law and the liberty of 
the inviolable Church — be justified and preserved intact for 

§ I o. " Festive " miracles 

[662] Such a cure as that of John the Scot would have 
been apparently left undescribed and unattested by William 
if it had not come round to him from John of Salisbury. 
Yet it was better worth describing than several that William 
now gives us of his own narration. Possibly he deliberately 
introduces these as a relief to the excessive seriousness of 

' i. 458. The delay probably means "waiting at Canterbury." But the 
ambiguity of the English represents that of the Latin. 

^ [SSlrt] i. 460. This letter is addressed (i. 458) to '• Odo Prior and William 
Sub- Prior," and in i. 482 a miracle is said to be related and an offering made to 
"our Sub-Prior." Although William was an extremely common name, these two 
passages indicate that our William was by this time Sub-Prior under Odo. And 
he is called Sub-Prior by the Qiiadrilogtis {Mat. iv. Introd. p. xix.). If so, 
Benedict would be under him at this time, but above him, as Prior, before the 
end of 1 175. 

i^ 666 HIS MIRACLES 53 

medical miracles. For example, at Arthington ^ in York- 
shire, Turgis, a working man, had received a pig from 
Godfrey, a monk of Pontefract, as wages for work on a 
chapel in honour of St. Thomas. Losing the pig in cross- 
ing the Wharfe, he expostulated with the Martyr, and told 
Godfrey ; but he would not take a second pig. " I must 
not," he said, " be paid twice over." Pleased with the man's 
honesty, St. Thomas preserved the dead pig for forty days, 
and washed it on to the bank in such excellent condition 
that, when it was recovered, Turgis and his household were 
able to enjoy it. 

[663] The next miracles are various, but similarly 
trifling. Austen,^ a London metal-caster, fusing a number 
of Canterbury phials for some work of a sacred nature, finds 
one that obstinately remains unmelted, and cannot explain 
it, till he ascertains that it once held relics of \he Saint. 

A pilgrim, returning from foreign parts, brings in his 
wallet a bezant which he destines for St. Thomas : a pirate 
seizes it and cannot stir till he has cast the wallet away.' 

[664] Norway at last sends two pilgrims to Canterbury. 
One of them gives thanks for the recovery of a lost falcon, 
chased back to him by two eagles.* 

[665] A Dorsetshire woman, recovering the whole of a 
stolen web (placed before her threshold one morning) sends 
a part of it to Canterbury in accordance with her vow.* 

[666] Galiena, vaguely described as a woman of 
England,^ was guilty of sewing to her shoes ornaments of 
various colours, as well as gold. " Tumour of body," says 
William, set in to punish " tumour of mind " ; and her limbs 
became as many-coloured as her shoes. But she repented 

' i. 464 " Hardintona." * i. 464-5. ' i. 466. ♦ i. 466-7. 

' i. 469. The vow might really have had something to do with the recovery, 
especially if accompanied by an appeal to St. Thomas to punish the thief. 
Knowing what the Martyr could do, the culprit might prudently repent. 

• i. 469 "Anglicana." 


and — presumably by the aid of St. Thomas, though he is 
not mentioned in the whole story — was restored to health. 

§ II. St. Thomas forgives a reproachful pilgrim 

[667] Early in the treatise, Gerard of Flanders had been 
mentioned as cured of fistula^ Now he appears to have 
gone on a second pilgrimage. But, on his journey back, he 
had a renewal of his disease. In his agony he blasphemed 
Thomas, calling him " a fellow of naught and an old 
madman, no martyr, but a gallows-bird."" He even 
ventured to repeat such words to pilgrims on their way to 
the shrine, and, as though in magnanimous contempt, 
forwarded through them an offering to the Saint who was 
treating him so ill. His hearers were surprised that the 
Martyr tolerated such a blasphemer. But William says that 
those who knew the Saint's patience while he was alive 
could easily understand it now that he had become the 
kindly Physician, who takes no heed of the patient's or 
lunatic's passion. So in this case — especially as the man 
blasphemed " in word but not in heart " — St. Thomas was 
kind, and speedily delivered him from his pain. 

§ 12. Responsibilities of a Saint in vogue 

[668] In a group of nautical miracles, it is not only 
asserted that St. Thomas frequently aids mariners belonging 
to the ports round Canterbury, but also that he sometimes 
sends those lights at the mast-head, which are more commonly 
attributed to St. Elmo, and which, by the Greeks and 
Romans, were assigned to Castor and Pollux. The fact is 
worth noting as an instance of the rule that a Saint in fashion 
may be made responsible for almost all contemporaneous 
inexplicable phenomena — coincidences, marvels and so-called 

1 i. 280. 2 i- 471 " strangulatus." 


miracles. He is the power most commonly invoked : and, 
if the invocation succeeds, to him is the glory. For example, 
two priests bring thanks to St. Thomas for averting or 
extinguishing fire.^ In the latter case the instrument is a 
phial of St. Thomas, which is not melted. At Waterford, in 
Ireland, the houses of those who had built a chapel to St. 
Thomas are alone preserved in a general conflagration.^ 

S 13. Distajit cures unknow7i ; revivifications 

[669] That many cures, partially effected at the tomb, 
and completed afterwards at a distance, never reached the 
ears of the Canterbury monks, may be inferred from many 
circumstances mentioned by William, and, among others, from 
a letter written by the Bishop of Bayeux to all the clergy in 
his diocese describing the cure of a leper, William of Rouen, 
following on a pilgrimage to the Martyr. It is inserted by 
William without preface or comment.^ 

[670] The revivifications of two children are placed at 
the conclusion of a distinct section of the Sixth Book. They 
present interesting contrasts. In the former, the father (a 
nobleman named Bernard FitzReginald) acquiescing in the 
death of his little one, turns away from the bed-side with a 
pious utterance of resignation to the Martyr's will, and it is 
left for the nurse to appeal : "In the name of the Lord 
and the blessed Mary and the holy Martyr, I bid thee, 
my son, desert me not till I hear one word from thee " — upon 
which the child awakes to life." In the other, the father, a 
townsman of Oxford, determined that the child, who had 
apparently died in convulsions, should either be restored 
alive to him, or taken dead to Canterbury.^ The same 
night, the child was restored. 

[67 1 ] To this the writer adds, " Several accounts of 

> i. 477- * lb. » i. 479-80. « i. 483. 

' i. 484 ••aut hie mihi vivus reddetur, aut Cantuariam mortuus efferetur." 


persons revivified remain to be written. But if they desire 
to live after death and to be remembered to posterity, they 
must wait for another pen than ours, though their cases are 
roughly noted down * in our tablets. Nor can we complete 
other accounts of healing bestowed by the kindness of the 
Martyr. For by reason of impediment from the evil times,^ 
we have neither the necessaries nor the leisure for writing." 
Possibly, he is referring to the great fire which, in Sept. 1 174 
(just after King Henry's pilgrimage), destroyed a large part 
of the Cathedral and may very well have interfered with the 
leisure and convenience of the Sub-Prior. 

§ 14. A historical digression 

[672] Taking up the pen, after an apparent interval, 
William remarks that " by these and such like miracles, 
within four years ^ from his passion," the Martyr was not 
only fanning the fires of faith in the Church but also arousing 
the affection of the King, under whom Thomas had once 
served as a soldier, when in the flesh. This leads him to 
describe the simultaneous hostility of Prince Henry, the 
French, the Earl of Leicester, and the King of Scotland, to 
meet which the King threw himself on the Martyr's com- 
passion, doing penance at his tomb. 

[673] The King desired ^ the people of Canterbury to 
remove their property beyond the Medway for fear of 
depredations from the south. But while the men of Thanet 
were watching the coast, three men ^ and two women had 
visions from St. Thomas promising deliverance.* 

* i. 484. " Praenotentur " seems to mean a first rough draft. 

* "malitia temporis impediti." 

1 i. 485 " infra quartum annum." ^ i. 489. 

3 One of these is called " Walvord." *' Thanet " is here called " Tenedos." 

* [673a] i- 489. This is not remarkable. But it is most extraordinary that 
a similar promise should have been given to a native of Kingstone (near Canter- 
bury), not from St. Thomas, but from St. John. The explanation probably is, 

i; 674 HIS MIRACLES 57 

The very day of the King's penitence saw the capture of 
the King of Scotland : and all Henry's other enemies were 
almost simultaneously brought to naught. Then follows an 
account of a vision of St. Thomas to Henry by which the 
latter is induced to take Benedict, the new Prior, into his 
favour, and to expedite the fulfilments of his promises to the 
monks.^ The section ends with a Charter confirming the 
liberties of the Cathedral. 

§ I 5. William degenerates still more 

[674] Here we might expect William's treatise to end. 
But he introduces an Appendix of miracles, of a miscellaneous 
character, some few attested by letters sent to the Prior, 
but others unattested, frequently foreign, and almost always 
frivolous. The style becomes now more detestable than 
ever. One marvel is introduced with the Virgilian question 
" What say you, reader ? Shall I speak out or be silent ? " ^ 
The writer repeatedly recurs to the device of accosting the 
patients and telling them what they have told him — on one 
occasion, with a proviso, " If, Walter, I remember aright 
what you related about yourself." ^ Once he converses with 

that the Kingstone man was, as he is described, "old and full of days," too old 
and too conservative to take to his heart the new Martyr and Saint of England. 

* i- 493-4- 

* i. 504. " Eloquar an sileam?" Virgil, Aen. iii. 39. Following this, 
amid a mass of uninteresting matter, there is a too brief account (i. 506) of the 
cure of a deaf and dumb man, who came from Provins, and was enabled to speak 
on the way. But *' with the possibility of speech, he had not received the act 
(actum)," so that he had to learn "like a child of two or three years old." 
Another dumb man, in Normandy, by recovering speech, recovered his feudal 
possessions, of which he had been deprived by his lord. 

* i. 508. It concludes, " In relating this, you deserved that your relation 
should be believed, since you were both a priest and a dean." This will, in part, 
explain the disproportionate space given to the cures of the clergy. It is not 
merely that they were more susceptible to the Martyr's influence ; it is also 
because their single testimony sufficed, in William's judgment, to attest their 
stories. Many of the miracles wrought on the laity might be discredited and not 
recorded : and probably a great number from one and the same neighbourhood 


his own hand : " Hand, write as follows. ' No,' says my 

§ 1 6. Evidence of date 

[675] The first of these miracles ^ must have happened 
at a time when the day of St. Thomas of Canterbury had 
come to be regularly observed. A Norman thresher, thresh- 
ing on St. Thomas the Martyr's day (kept for the first time 
on 29th Dec. 11 73), was punished by finding his flail stick 
to his fingers, but was delivered by a vow made by his 

[676] The cure of an epileptic Canon of Oseney^ is worth 
mentioning because it has a definite date, the Whitsuntide of 
I 1 7 1 ; and the question arises why (if for any reason beyond 
William's neglect of chronology) it comes so late in order. 
Possibly the reason is that the poor Canon was anxious not 
to exult too soon till he knew the disease would not return. 
It had attacked him in 1 1 5 i, at intervals gradually diminish- 
ing from 2\ years, and i^ years, down to 6 months, and at 
last 4 months. He now resorted to Canterbury. But his 
case is unique in this point, that he did not go straight to 
St. Thomas but to a namesake of the Martyr among the 
monks of Canterbury known as Thomas of Maidstone, a man 
given to visions, of whom St. Thomas had said in the flesh 
" I have found a man after my own heart." Through his 
intercession he was restored, and, as the monks of Oseney 
say in a letter unfortunately not dated, " from then till now 
he has not felt a touch of his infirmity," Not improbably 

were, when recorded, accompanied by a letter of attestation from the priest of the 
district, which has not been inserted. 

The next miracle is wrought on the son of "one Stephen, parson of Chester- 
field {gerens personatum ecclesiae villae Cestrefeld)." He is not called " priest." 

3 i. 524. 1 i. 496. 

2 i. 509. " Willelmus de Stokingeberi " (Ed. suggests " Stockbery "). He 
had been a rich man, but "ex divite canonicum induerat " ; and his brother 
monks of Oseney honoured him for that, as well as for his goodness. 


they would wait till at least the longest of the intervals above 
mentioned (2^ years) had passed away, i.e. till 1173, ^"d 
possibly till i i 74. 

§ 1 7. Tlie consequences of finding ati ancient mortuary vessel 

[677] Among several letters of attestation that here 
follow, is one from the Abbot of La Sie en Brignon (Bring- 
nonnensis) ^ describing how a labourer unwittingly broke 
with his mattock a glass vessel of most wonderful beauty, 
and then irreverently handled the contents (" black earth 
and small bones "). Almost at once he lost his sight — 
perhaps (though the Abbot does not suggest this) owing to 
some dust or vapour from the mortuary urn. Resorting to 
the church, and mass, and prayers, and a vow to St. Thomas, 
he saw in a dream the martyred Archbishop saying to him 
that he would receive his sight on the following Monday at 
the same time at which he lost it : " And so it came to pass. 
. . . This miracle is testified unto you in the sight of God and 
His angels by our monks and certain of the laity who had 
seen [the matter], and had carefully noted the hour in which 
he lost his sight and also the hour in which he received it." 

§ I 8. Miracles f rain Sefrid the ecstatic 

[678] The next six miracles, or rather groups of 
miracles, appear to have been reported to Benedict from 

' i. 516. This, and two that precede, and several that follow, are addressed 
to Benedict as Prior. 

One (i. 512-4), from Pontigny — where St. Thomas had once been an exile and 
now had an altar — describes how the Abbot, after administering extreme unction 
to a dying monk and seeing to the arrangements for his burial, was startled by his 
presenting himself among the brethren that were waiting for the holy water : 
" fateor, stupefactus expavi." Concerning the suspicious character of evidence 
from Pontigny, see 801. But this seems credible. 

This is followed (i. 515) by a letter from the Castellan of St. Omer, mentioned 
above (641 n. ), concerning a man on the gallows preserved alive for several hours 
by St. Thomas. 


France together with a letter of attestation from the Abbots 
of Trois Fontaines and Haute-Fontaine (in Champagne), who 
had received them from the Abbot of a place called Claus- 
trum. They seem all to depend on the evidence of a monk 
of Claustrum called Sefrid. A chapel had been built there 
by a devout knight who had returned from Canterbury with 
relics of St. Thomas ; and the place at once began to teem 
with miracles and with Sefrid's reports of miracles.^ 

[679] A man paralysed from the waist downwards 
spent the night in the chapel. His votive candle, " as it is 
said," lasted seven times as long as it ought naturally to 
have done. He arose from prayer, healed, and went towards 
the knight's house. Meanwhile the knight had heard a voice 
saying that there was " that going on in the chapel which 
would rouse a thousand men." He arose with his wife, and 
met the paralytic, whom the lady, beholding, "saw clothed in 
splendour and as if adorned in vesture of angels." Taking 
him into the house and seeing him in rags, she asked what 
had become of his fine clothes. He said he had never had 
any: "she, on the contrary, affirmed that she had seen them 
on him, whence it may be perpended ^ that she had received 
a vision from God, to the manifestation of the Martyr's 
power and the increase of the lady's devotion." 

[680] Sefrid proceeds to pile on miracles. Six are 
recorded in a page. One is the case of a woman possessed 
for eight years, " by whose tongue the demon was wont to 
talk in Latin, German, and various ways." ^ One woman 
had been delivered from dumbness during mass ; another 
had been struck dumb for blaspheming the miracles. 

[681] A knight, who had promised to walk barefoot in 
a knights' procession in honour of the Martyr, came to the 
door, when his comrades set out in the morning, and said 
he was too tired and sleepy. So he went back to bed. 

» i. 518-20. 2 ««perpendi." 3 "modis."' 


Suddenly he was pierced through the foot with a knife. 
Getting the knife out as well as he could, he limped after 
his companions and was healed when he reached the chapel. 

[682] Probably Sefrid was wildly ecstatic, or slightly 
mad. He had mutilated himself, as Origen did, and for the 
same reason, to preserve his chastity. But then, lamenting 
that he was barred, by his own act, from priestly ordination, 
he appealed to St Thomas, who restored him. Concerning 
this and other miracles the two Abbots write, " The miracles 
we have transmitted to you we possess [in writing] certified 
(certa) and confirmed by the seal of the Abbot of Claustrum.^ 
Moreover from the mouth of brother Sefrid, whose mutilation 
has been healed, as we have said, by St Thomas, we have 
ascertained the truth of the written statements. For he has 
testified that he has seen some of these miracles himself, 
and that he knows for certain the truth of others though he 
has not seen them." 

[683] The words " as we have said " shew that what 
precedes was written by the Abbots, not by William ; but 
the latter has taken so little pains in arranging the preceding 
matter that he has not only put the letter of attestation 
before the miracles but has entitled it " The Confirmation 
of six afore-mentioned miracles." These facts are important 
because they shew that many of the miracles in William's 
book, and possibly in Benedict's, may have been written out 
by others and transcribed with little or no alteration by the 
Canterbury chroniclers. And this sometimes may have been 
done without acknowledgment^ 

* " Certa habemus" might mean " we regard as certain." But that does not 
so well suit with "et . . . confirmata," which can hardly mean "we r^ard as 
confirmed by the Abbot's seal." Perhaps it means " we regard them as certain, 
and [they have been] confirmed." 

* For an instance in which Benedict does this, see Parallel Miracles (752). 


§ 1 9. William oscillates between credulity and incredulity 

[684] As soon as we pass from these letter -attested 
miracles we are in a different atmosphere. Not indeed 
that Sefrid's was not an atmosphere of portent. But that 
was plain, unadorned ecstasy, plainly and simply recorded. 
William — whose "tired steed" above-mentioned may be 
supposed to have " taken breath " — now that he resumes the 
pen, tells us frankly that, if people seem to him respectable, 
he does not see his way to doubting their miracles. And it 
is by a preface to this effect that he introduces the leist 
section of his book.^ 

[685] " When pilgrims," he says, " ascribe a thing to a 
miracle, and become pilgrims on account of it, I do not like 
to reckon it non-miraculous, or to contradict them concern- 
ing those whom they have actually seen die. For, if one is 
satisfied about the good fame and life of the narrators, one 
ought also to be satisfied about their veracity. Speak, 
therefore, Elfvvin, living about eight furlongs the other side 
of the Thames, and give glory to God." Then Elfwin 
speaks, describing the rescue and reanimation of his 
drowned daughter, and concludes, "If you incredulously 
deny that which you have not seen, we can make contrary 
affirmation, proving what we have seen from her compressed 
lips, which could not be opened owing to the rigor viortis, 
and from the interval between death and life." And here 
Elfwin ends, without even telling us what the " interval " was. 
Instead of asking him for it, William, under the same title, 
despatches another miracle. " Deliver you, too, Robert of 
Flanders, your testimony to Christ [and] ^ the Martyr. ' I 
found,' he replied, ' my son in a cave, drowned ; and I rejoice 

* i. 522. 

^ The Editor supplies "et." Herbert of Bosham often calls Becket 
"the Lord's Christ," i.e. anointed, in describing the Martyrdom. But that 
meaning is improbable here. 

§ 688 HIS MIRACLES 63 

that he was restored to me through invocation of the 
Martyr.' " That is all. 

[686] In the next case, William actually told Henry of 
Minster in Devon that he could not take his unsupported 
word as proving that his child had died. But the man 
seems to have appealed to the testimony of the whole 
village (perhaps to be ascertained by letters to the priest). 
He also appeals to Truth, and to the fact that for three days 
afterwards the little one's life was manifested by nothing but 

[687] To this, William makes no reply, but passes to 
the next case : " You say, Eadwin, that your son, for whose 
sake you give thanks, dying humanly speaking, received 
breath again through the Water of the Martyr, after his eyes 
had been closed and his exequies performed. You tell me 
his name, age, and birth-place. But beware lest, while you 
are [for] extolling the Martyr's name, you utter a fable or jest, 
and, in accordance with your name, make yourself a jest" * 
To this the man replies, " I should deserve to be thought 
Eadwin, according to the abuse of the word by your French 
folk ^ (who say that Edwin * and a fool are the same), if I 
assigned to the Martyr what the Martyr had not done. For 
a man may not know letters, and yet know by nature that 
falsehood does not please the Truth." 

§ 20. William decides to accept the statements of rich people 

[688] Next comes Lucy, wife of a knight of Mont-paon.* 
Some of her friends thought her dead because she could not 
move ; others thought her not dead : " The Martyr settled 

3 i. 523. 

* i. 523. It seems to have been a French joke that '* Edwin " meant a 
"fool." "Fieri fabula" means "make oneself ridiculous." 

* '* vestratum." 

' So MSS., having "Edwin" here, but "Eadwin" above. 
' Ed. suggests "in Rouergue or Provence?" 


the dispute, for, when she was devoted to him, her spirit (or 
breath) was called back and he roused her limbs to motion." ^ 

William does not tell us whether this " settled " that she 
had been dead, or that she had been motionless. He passes 
rapidly to Mabilia's son : " Write, O hand, that Mabilia, a 
noble English lady, placed her first-born son dead, on the 
[funeral] ashes,^ but received him alive, upon ^ [the use of] 
the Martyr's Water." " No," quoth my hand, " I must not 
write anything that is not known for certain." " The lady," 
answered the scribe, " has been heard by us, and examined 
by us, so far as her noble birth made it seemly, and we can 
presume the truth of her relation from her pilgrimage and 
devotion. For, although faith is rare, because many people 
speak many [lies],^ yet, just as it is natural to conjecture a 
beggar to be a liar, so it is by no means natural to make 
such a conjecture about the nobility, who propitiate and 
conciliate heaven by pilgrimages." 

[689] A lamentable but common-sense confession ! It 
was not worth the lady Mabilia's while to come all that 
way to Canterbury, perhaps part of the way on bare feet, 
and to keep vigils, and make prayers and offer gifts, and all 
for a lie : but it might well be worth Edwin's or Eadwin's 
while to beg his way to the Martyr and back, along with a 
conveniently revivified son, returning with a pocket full of 
denarii and with the reputation of one favoured by St. 

§21. William becomes slightly cynical 

[690] Hence, perhaps, we may account for the rapid 
increase in William's neglect of facts, and sometimes cynical 

2 i. 523-4. 

3 i. 524 " in cinere." It was customary to lay the dying on ashes, that they 
might not die on a bed ("in plumis " it is once called). * '* super." 

* "multi mtilta loquuntur." Probably William is referring to such passages 
as Prov. X. 19 "in the multitude of words there wanteth not sin," so that 
"multa" implies "lies." 

§ 691 HIS MIRACLES 65 

manner in recording such facts as he does record. The miracles 
were by this time both too many and too much for their 
reporters. It is creditable to him that he sometimes avows 
a feeling of doubt when he inserts some stories. But he 
might surely have left some out — such, for example, as this : 
" Some man told me that his wife had hanged herself, and 
shewed me the halter. But as he kept it hidden from his 
neighbours, lest they should be put to shame ^ by the 
Martyr's visitation, I do not wish to reveal her disgrace. 
What [kind of act] she did, I leave undefined.^ What 
things she did,^ saving modesty, I leave hidden. The reason 
why she did it, I take to be diabolical suggestion. Where 
she did it — to avoid saying nothing — [it was] in the world. 
When she did it — I heard but do not remember. She was 
delivered from the halter by her husband, from death by the 
Martyr : by the former with a knife, by the latter through 
a vow." This outburst of frankness is continued in the 
following narrative, in which he expresses his opinion that a 
scribe, as well as a judge, ought to pronounce his censure 
when a matter passes the bounds of truth, and then describes 
the alleged revivification of Elizabeth of Lisieux " who, in 
consequence of sickness, completely surceased (I say not 
deceased, though she says she deceased*) so that she lost all 
bodily feeling and seemed to have departed [this life]." 

§ 22. A married priest 

[691] Perhaps "the little Nicolas," son of a priest in 
Necton (of the diocese of Norwich), is introduced in the last 
of these stories of revivification ^ in order to point a moral. 

* i. 524. "Confundantur." Apparently "they" means " he and his wife." 

* "Quod fecit, in genere propono." 

' " Quae fecit." Could this mean " what [things] she did [to lead her to the 
act] " ? 

* i. 525 " penitus dcfecit (non dico decessit, quamvis se decessisse perhibuerit)." 
' i. 526. 



The father, being a priest, ought not to have had any children 
after he was a priest ; but the epithet appHed to Nicolas 
implies that his father had probably thus transgressed. 
" Little Nicolas " died within a year of his birth. How long 
he remained lifeless, William does not tell us. The father, 
whom he charitably leaves unnamed, " although a priest, 
although learned in the doctrine of the gospels, thinking 
prayers useless in the presence of the proofs of death, had 
no hope that life could be recalled : but the mother, full of 
faith, by a vow of pilgrimage obtained [such an answer to 
her prayers] that the child opened one of his eyes and then 
by degrees revived." But the result was bitter. Perhaps 
the married priest was ashamed to face the monks of 
Canterbury. In any case, the parents neglected to pay the 
vow. As a first punishment, two sons were taken from 
them. After that, a daughter fell into the fire and severely 
burned herself. Even then, it needed a vision seen by the 
woman, before this married priest could be induced to 
discharge the debt incurred by the mother of his child. 

§ 23. Wiscard, tJie King's falcon 

[692] After two ship-stories, in the latter of which a 
man who had fallen overboard is found by his rescuers " sitting 
on the waves," ^ William passes to one " that might have 
amused King Henry if he had glanced at the end of the 
book dedicated to him. The King's falconer, Radulph, had 
under his charge, beside the other and inferior birds, one 
falcon of special excellence, hence called Wiscard. Some 
one whom he desired to oblige asked him to bring down a 
crane, and Wiscard was the bird to do it. But Radulph 
had misgivings, for the weather was unfavourable, and, says 
William, the King did not allow Radulph to trifle with 
Wiscard as with the other hawks. However, he risked it, 

> i. 528. 2 i, 328-9. 


with the unfortunate result that the noble bird, after bringing 
down one crane, was run through the eye by the bill of 
another. Radulph, fearing to face the King, made off to 
Tours, with Wiscard in a drooping and dying condition. 
By the advice of a priest there, he tried a vow to St. Thomas, 
and it proved effectual. The Martyr — partly because he felt 
for the falconer, partly because he wished to bestow a new 
obligation on his ancient lord, the King — told him (in a dream) 
to look for twelve pimples in the bird and open them. Next 
morning, finding three or four, he called his friends and said 
that, if he could find the whole twelve, it would be no fancy 
but a real vision. He found them and carried out the Saint's 
orders : " the bird opened its eyes and called for its food. 
When the King was told the story, he thanked the Martyr 
for saving the favourite companion of his sporting hours." 

^ 24. A starling invokes St. Thomas; miracles worked for a 
Jiospital at SJiooter's Hill 

[693] The climax of the miraculous is reached in the 
next story, which William introduces with this preface,^ " I 
relate what is commonly related in Brittany and is known 
to have happened there." A starling had been taught by 
its mistress to repeat, among other phrases, an incantation 
to St. Thomas. Seized by a kite, it invoked him. The 
kite, releasing its prey, dropped down dead." 

[694] After this, other things are bathos. Yet at least 
there is variety. One Fretus, building a hospital, apparently 
on Shooter's Hill,^ in honour of St. Thomas, and finding no 
water, was on the point of giving up the site in despair, when 
he was told by the Martyr in a vision to dig under a bramble 
bush where he would find eels. He sensibly inferred that 

' i. 529- 

' i. 530. So the Editor suggests. The text is "septimo milliario ab urbe 
Lundoniarum . . . quo vitae viantium latrones insidiari consueverant." 


eels imply water. So he dug, and found it so. Another 
dream, again from the Martyr, tells him to bid a certain 
Londoner named Jocius give up a book, which Jocius could 
not use himself, for the chapel of the hospital. Jocius gives 
it : and " from the cheerfulness of him that gave may be 
conjectured the power of the will of him that sent the message 
to give." 

§25. Si. Thomas at Devizes 

[695] The next story tells about poor people who seem 
to have been in earnest. Near Devizes,^ a deaf man was 
told by the Apostle Thomas and the Martyr Thomas to go 
to Priest Alured and bid him build a chapel in the market- 
place to the latter. The deaf man pleads inability ; but the 
two Saints carry him on his bed to the site and mark it out ; 
" And when the Apostle had measured a distance of twelve 
feet with his right foot, and the Martyr thirteen with his right 
and left, after the manner of his nation,^ they brought him 
back again." The deaf man is not said to have delivered 
the message. But he began to come regularly to this spot 
to pray, and to tell people his vision. However, for some 
days, he only got laughed at. 

But time went on. The two Saints appeared to a blind 
man of the same place, and told him to go with the deaf 
man to one Ralph, the head of the town,^ and bid him cut 
down a tree — which would be found marked in three places yet 
not with an axe — and set up a cross from the wood thereof 
The blind man obeyed : " When the commands of the 
two Saints had been fulfilled in each point, the Lord in that 
spot began — nay rather, is now beginning, for whatsoever 
we write concerning the Martyr happened shortly after his 

' i. 531 "Castro quod Angli Divisiones vocant." 

2 " More gentis suae." The distinction is curious. Is the writer contrasting 
a custom of the East with one of the West ? Would such a distinction have 
occurred to a poor man ? ^ " Qui castello praeerat." 


martyrdom * — to work mighty works and acts of healing. 
So within a few days people flocked thither and the place 
became famous : and the blind man and the deaf man, whom 
the two Saints made their messengers, were the first to obtain 
compassion and restoration to health." 

§ 26. St. Tliomas among friends 

[696] A slightly familiar or even comic colouring is 
given to the next group of miracles. The first tells how the 
Saint healed, first, Wicard, arch-priest ^ of Lyons (ridiculously 
deformed by a tumour on the nose), and, after him, an 
unnamed monk of Wenlock, who was liable to redness that 
made him look tipsy even before breakfast. The next ^ 
describes him as restoring speech to a former servant of his, 
by familiarly accosting him with the words " Brother Robert, 
speak to me : I am Thomas." 

[697] Robert was a lay-brother of Pontigny, Becket's 
hospitable home in exile. Naturally, the Martyr would be 
supposed to retain a peculiar interest in the Abbot of that 
place. This was manifested in the case of one, Guarin by 
name. Archbishop elect of Bourges. It happened that, on 
the day fixed for his consecration, only two Bishops appeared, 
the canonical quorum being three.^ It was, therefore, im- 
possible to proceed. An Abbot comforted the clergy by 
saying he had seen in a vision a clerk of St. Thomas, namely, 
Alexander the Welshman, who had come in haste to give 
a message to the Archbishop elect and had then departed. 
The message was that St. Thomas would make a fourth at 
his consecration to-morrow. Next day, after long waiting in 
vain, they had well-nigh given up all hope of proceeding for 

* There is a slight confusion. Logically, "we write" should be substituted 
for " happened." '• Whatsoever (quicquid) " seems to imply more than this single 
narr.-itivc. It may be one of several stories communicated by some one writer 
to William. i i. 532 •' archipresbyter." 

* i. 532. 3 1. 533. Editor gives in margin the date A.D. Il74. 


that day, and were on the point of going to dinner, when the 
Bishop of Cahors, riding in advance of his attendants, who 
had been detained by a flood, came galloping into the city. 
This made the canonical three. And it was inferred that 
the Martyr made an invisible fourth.* 

^ 2y. The Saracen of Palermo 

[698] Next comes a unique story of a rich Saracen of 
Palermo,^ to whom St. Thomas appeared in a dream 
" clothed in red garments ^ and with a red mitre," ^ saying 
that, though he was a good man and zealous for his law, 
his works were barren because not sanctified by baptism ; 
wherefore he was to be baptized. The Saracen at once 
went to the Archbishop demanding baptism, and, on his not 
immediately conceding it, replied, " If I die meanwhile, the 
LxDrd require my soul at thy hand." Next day, the baptism 
took place, and he dedicated a church of his own to the 
Martyr.* " This," says the writer, " was related to us by the 
Bishop of Evreux, and his chaplain, who celebrated mass in 
the same church," ^ presumably the church dedicated by 
the Saracen.^ 

§ 28. St. TJwmas kills a cow 

[699] After describing a miraculous restoration of 
money ^ — taken by a cut-purse from a poor pilgrim, and 

* " Qui se tertium exhibuit, Sanctum quartum non deesse probavit." 

* i. 534. Text " Palernae." But Editor, "more likely Palermo (properly 
Panormus in Latin) than Palema near the Lake of Fucino. " 

2 " pannis." 

3 [698^] "Mitre." The use of "mitra" to mean "mitre" indicates that, 
in the accounts of the Martyrdom, "pileus" means "cap," not "mitre." Most 
English and French folk saw the Archbishop in white. Why did the Saracen, or 
whoever originated the Saracen's story, see him in red ? Comp. 712^ ' * in red 
and with a comely mitre (decenter mitratus)." 

* " templum suum martyri consecravit." * " in eadem ecclesia. " 

** It would be interesting to ascertain whether any light is thrown on this 
story by the name of any church at Palermo, or by any traditions connected with 
the city. 1 i. 534-5- 


heard tinkling some days afterwards in his phial — William 
passes from this miracle of encouragement to one of chastise- 
ment, inflicted on Helias, a rich man, and one of William's 
own relations.' It happened that Helias, who was a farmer, 
had six fine bullocks. Pointing to the finest of these, 
a neighbour said to him, " This should be given to St. 
Thomas." " No," said the farmer, " not long ago I bestowed 
one on his shrine." ^ The writer does not accuse his 
kinsman of lying. Apparently Helias had really given a 
bullock quite recently to the Martyr, and his only fault was 
that he now declined to give another at a neighbour's casual 
suggestion. But William is very severe on him, and makes 
him a shocking example : " Whoso lets his tongue play 
freely, let him hear what happened. Let him set a watch 
on his mouth and a door to close his lips, lest his tongue 
vent folly and words of naught" Helias never saw that fine 
bullock again till he found it in a corn-field, a putrefying 

§ 29. Sf. Thomas revivifies a cow 

[700] Against this dismal cow-story is another of 
encouragement, very pretty and French.^ It happened in 
Limousin, where a poor man, having lost his single cow, 
skinned it, buried it,^ and then poured tearful complaints — 
nay, even demands for his " victualia " — into the ears of 
St Thomas. Accordingly, " [The Martyr], wishing to 
tread in the footsteps of the wonder-working St Nicholas 
(' shall I speak out or be silent ? ' ^), recalled the dead to 
life. The cottagers were in bed when the reanimated cow 
approached the door of the poor plaintiff." The mother, 

* '• S3S-6. ' "oratorium." * i. 536-7. 

* The cow had been good to him, says the writer, so he was good to her, 
and spared her from '• the sepulture of asses," i.e. the birds of prey. This 
perhaps was a French trait. In England, a sucking pig and a gander, when 
dead, are to be '• thrown out of doors (projicienda foras)." See above (633-4). 

' Virg. Aeneidy iii. 39, quoted above (674). 


hearing the lowing, bade her son let in the neighbour's cow, 
for fear the wolves should get at it " What concern have 
we," said the sleepy fellow, " with other people's cows, now 
that we have lost our own ? " " Get up, my son," she 
replied, " we must obey the Lord's word and do by others as 
we would have them do by us."* So the boy let the cow 
in, and she went at once to her stall. Next morning she 
was let out to pasture, and, instead of going to her 
owner, came back to the same stall ! And this happened 
the second day, and the third day ! How much longer, we 
are not told. The writer simply says "saepius," which may 
mean " rather often," or " more often." In any case, the 
father of the house seems to have taken several days to 
be astonished at the cow's conduct. But at last he was 
astonished. And now, examining the animal more closely 
and finding some traces of resemblance to his lost cow, he 
was beginning to bless St. Thomas for her restoration, when 
he reflected that it would be as well to look for her old 
carcass and her old skin. He looked for the first ;' it was 
not there. He went to the tanner for the second. The 
tanner, after saying he had it, could not produce it " I 
knew," replied the poor man, in triumph, " that the skin 
could not be found. The cow that I had lost, and the skin 
that I had taken off her, have been gratuitously restored to 
me by the Martyr. See, I give you back your money." 

[701] Less satisfactory, from the picturesque point of 
view, is another cow-story, also from France, from the 
diocese of Quimper.^ The owner of two oxen recovers both 
of them from thieves. They had killed and partly skinned 
one of them, but the animal revives. It does not appear 
that the farmer gained anything from St Thomas on this 
occasion. He had vowed his oxen to the Martyr if he 

* The mother's meaning is clear, the Latin not so clear : " tenemur ex prae- 
cepto Domini velle idem alii quod nobis volumus fieri." 
° i. 537 "e r^one Lata Via." 


recovered them, and to the Martyr he had to pay them. 
At first, he began to drive them back to his farm ; but 
" seized by a sudden infirmity " he hastily repented and dis- 
charged his vow. 

§ 30. Miscellanea 

[702] One Roger (from Valognes in Normandy) is 
punished for neglect of pilgrimage (though his father had 
detained him). A second Roger, a notable knight (from 
Merlai, "de confinio Albaniae et Loegriae") recovers the 
use of his right little finger ; but the candid scribe adds, 
" the hand, as it seems, is sound, but there are also traces of 
infirmity." ^ 

[703] A lame man describes how he, alone out of 
five thousand (in the great flood of Holland in May 
ii73)> was saved by St. Thomas. He adds a far more 
picturesque experience of a neighbour, who, when fleeing 
from the deluge, had been forced to leave in his cottage 
(entrusting them to the care of the Martyr) two little 
children and a cow. After the waters had abated, he 
returned, in dread of the cruelty of the flood, but in hope of 
the Martyr's aid. Everything was safe. " ' A man in white 
clothes,' said the little ones, * brought us bread for ourselves 
and hay for the cow.' And besides (to the best of their 
power), describing the Martyr, they also shewed, as a proof 
of their story, the remains of the bread and the hay." " 

\ ^\. A story cut short 

[704] William's book concludes with two stories that 
come from his furthest points to East and West, Lund to 
the East and Ireland to the West. It will be remembered 
that Benedict's concluding pages similarly placed the East 

' i. 538-9. For " Loegria," see 783- " '• 539-40. 


and West in juxta-position.^ Before these, comes a story 
about retribution on the Wends ; and, before that, a 
prophecy of a Canterbury monk about the election of a 
Canterbury Prior. This miscellaneous collection is pre- 
ceded by two miracles related in verse, one located in 
Bamberg, the other in Wales. The whole appears to be of 
the nature of an Appendix, the last regular miracle being 
one concerning a boy in Northamptonshire, revived when 
seemingly dead.^ 

[705] This miracle appears to have been left incomplete. 
We might be tempted to suppose that the last page of the 
MS. had been torn off. But the extant portion exhibits so 
remarkable an indifference to facts as to suggest that the 
writer may have been ill, or indisposed to write, or may 
have been prevented by circumstances from finishing his 
work. " Some one," he says, " of good position in a village 
of Northampton — wJiose name we did not enquire^ being 
contented to know the miracle — shewed us his son of about 
three years old, whom he constantly asserted to have been 
dead. He also described the process of revivification. The 
boy had expired after a troublesome illness of some days ^ : 
the exequies had been paid ; and he lay a corpse for about 
three hours. But by reason of his mother, mourning and 
crying that she could not believe Thomas to be Saint or 
Martyr unless he manifested his power in her child . . ." 

§ 32. Comic verses 

[706] We may hope that the two (apparently comic) 
copies of verses ^ were not from William's hand. His book, 
in its present form, was certainly not presented by him to 
the King, and may very well contain the labour of his later 
years, perhaps left unfinished, with blank pages that invited 
an insertion. Such a phenomenon would not be half so 

* See above, 587. * i. 540. ^ i. 540 " Dies aliquod" (sic). 

» i. 541. 

?« 707 HIS MIRACLES 75 

remarkable as the abrupt termination of the Gospel of St. 
Mark with the words (Mark xvi. 8) " For they were afraid," 
followed by a fragment acknowledged by competent critics 
to proceed from a different hand. 

[707] The first of these doggerel poems tells how 
Bortrad from Bamberg became a mother and ceased to be 
a mother on one and the same day, by the birth and death 
of her child. St. Thomas restored the babe to life, but the 
writer asserts that " the city of Bamberg might have seen it, 
but she sent very few witnesses of it."^ The second tells 
how a Welsh leper was cured after apparent failure and 
tears, and presented himself at Canterbury quite altered, and 
was warned by the monks to lead a continent life, lest his 
disease should return.^ 

2 «' Urbs Babemberg videre potuit, Sed perpaucos testes adhibuit." 

3 Here is the last part : — 

" Agens ergo gratias venit alteratus 
Et nobis apparuit tanquam transfonnatus, 
Sic ad unguem faciem totam permundatus 
Ut in ea specie videretur natus. 
Haec videntes diximus, ' Vive continenter ; 
Nam si tibi fuerat (su) dissolutus venter, 
Toilet a te Dominus quod dedit clementer. 
Sic male viventibus contingit frequenter.'" 



[708] It has not been thought necessary to call the 
reader's attention to occasional condensations or paraphrases 
of the original in the following parallel stories, as the whole 
of the Latin is given, in every case, at the foot of the page. 

It may be well to add that, in some cases, it has been 
thought necessary to sacrifice the English to the Latin, 
where there was a special need to bring out the difference 
between the two writers, or to illustrate some play of words, 
antithesis, or other peculiarity, in either writer. 

§ I . Sir Thomas of Etton is miraculously visited with quinsy 
and miraculously cured 

[709] Benedict (ii. 92) William (i. 153) 

(i) In the days when (i) In the county of York, 

some still disparaged the a knight, Thomas of Etton 
Christ of the Lord,^ Thomas by name, under the control 

(i) Quibusdam tamen Christo Do- (i) In territorio Eboracensi miles 

mini ' adhuc detrahentibus, quum Thomas de Ectune sub martyris ditione 

* For references, see la, and note particularly that black Arabic figures, 
followed by ordinary Arabics, refer to subsections and paragraphs in the Parallel 
Miracles. Thus, 709 (3) refers to paragraph 3, in subsection 709. 

1 ♦' Christo Domini," i.e. the 
Anointed of the Lord, a term frequently 
applied to St. Thomas by Herbert of 
Bosh am. 




Benedict (ii. 92) 

of Etton, a knight of the 
province of York, though he 
had once served the Saint 
when the latter was discharg- 
ing the Provostship of Bever- 
ley, was himself not ashamed 
to derogate from his saintli- 
ness and honour. 

(2) No sooner had he 
cast the venom of blasphemy 
against his lord, the Christ 
of the Lord, than he was 
smitten, and almost suffo- 
cated with what was thought 
to be a dangerous quinsy. 

William (i. 153) 
of the Martyr, had discharged 
the Provostship of Beverley 
while he himself also filled 
the office of secretary.^ 

(2) When the Martyr's 
miracles were noised abroad, 
he broke out into blasphemy 
with the glibness of a courtier, 
calling him a profligate spend- 
thrift, thinking him to be 
such as he had remembered 
him to be in old days — if he 
ever had been so — or rather 
measuring another's con- 

audiret hoc de provincia Eboracensi 
miles, Thomas videlicet de Ethonia, 
ipse quoque, licet ei olim praeposi- 
turam de Beverleia ministranti ser- 
vient, ejus sanctitati et gloriae derogare 
non enibuit. 

(2) Non citius in dominum suum, 
christum Domini, blasphemiae venena 
jactaverat, quam, juxta quod scriptum 
est, " Klagellat Dominus omnem filium 
quem recipit," periculoso, ut putabatur, 
squinantiae morbo f>ercussus paene 
praefocatus est. 

praeposituram de Beverle ministraverat, 
dum et ipse scribatus impleret officium.' 

(2) Qui enarratis vulgo miraculis 
quibus in martyre ad gloriam legitime 
certantium Dominus coruscabat, curiali 
facilitate in blasphemiam erupit, ponens 
in coelum os suum ; martyrem libidinosi 
et nebulonis el(^o notans, talem nunc 
reputans qualem multis retro diebus 
vidisse meminerat, si talis unquam 
fiierat ; vel potius juxta propriam con- 

1 William seems to take the view 
that the knight of Etton really "dis- 
charged the duties of the Provostship," 
although, in name and office, merely a 




Benedict (ii. 92) 

(3) Led by this sudden 
disease to see his guilt, he 
turned to the Lord with his 
whole heart, and combined 
the Martyr's rod with that of 
penitence and contrition. 

(4) The wonderful justice 
of the Lord was followed by 
the wonderful pity of the 
Lord. No sooner had he 
offered the Martyr ^ the tears 
of a penitent heart, than per- 

William (i. 153) 

science by his own. He was 
therefore struck with a sud- 
den synanchy ; the avenues 
of breath were choked ; and 
he thought every moment he 
would be suffocated. 

(3) Feeling in himself 
the divine rebuke, he remem- 
bered his words, his want of 
reverence, his ignorant and 
shameless attack upon holy 
men. He beat his breast, 
confessed his guilt with sighs, 
and sought pardon. 

(4) The compassionate 
heart of the Martyr is un- 
able, yea, unable to persist 
in punishing those who return 
to wisdom, and cannot spurn 
the truly contrite. For with 

(3) Advertens autem ex repentina 
infirmitatis immissione derogationis se 
reum esse atque correptum, in toto 
corde conversus ad Dominum, flagellum 
martyris flagello poenitentiae at con- 
tritionis spiritus temperare non dLstulit. 

(4) Miram Domini justitiam mira 
Domini pietas est subsecuta. Non 
enim citius reatus sui poenitens internas 
cordis lacrymas martyr ^ obtulerat, 

scientiam metiens alienam. Percussus 
igitur incontinenti synanchia, coarctato 
vitalis aurae meatu, per singula mo- 
menta suffocari putabat. 

(3) Sentiens autem in se sujjer- 
venientem divinae severitatis animad- 
versionem, recordatur quid dixerit, 
quam fuerit modestiae nescius, et 
pudoris ignarus in sanctos. Pectus 
itaque contundit, gemitu suspirioso 
reatum confitetur, et veniam petit. 

(4) Nescit, nescit martyris miseri- 
cordia resipiscentes insequi, vere con- 
tritos aspernari. Nam sub ea celeri- 
tate qua obloquentem percussit, resipi- 

* " Martyr " must be a misprint for 
■ martyri." 




Benedict (ii. 92) 

feet peace came back and 
all his pain vanished, 

(5) and, when fit time 
occurred, hastening to the 
Saint's Memorial,^ he testi- 
fied that he had also in after 
times been freed from violent 
fevers by calling on the 

William (i. 153) 
the same speed with which 
he smote he cured. 

For [the sin of] speaking 
anathema, the man was 
straitened in spirit [or, 
" breath" there is a play on 
the word " spiritu "] ; for 
[the merit ofj speaking in 
the holy spirit, he obtained 
free breathing through the 
throat that had been but 
now closed. 
(5) omitted. 

Little comment is required on these two narratives, as the 
facts are simple and the two agree. William's appears to be the 
later. He gives fuller details than Benedict's about the knight's 
office in Beverley, and about the nature and motives of his slander, 
(i) Where Benedict praises the Lord, William praises the Martyr ; 
(2) the latter also prefers the manifestly Greek term " synanchy " to 

quam omnimodo redeunte quiete totus 
ille dolor in nihilum evanuit, 

(5) et occurrente tempore oppor- 
tuno ad sancti festinans memoriam,^ 
etiam a febribus validis se postea per 
martyris invocationem liberatum testa- 
tus est. 

scentem sanavit. Anathema locutus, 
spiritu arctatus est ; in spiritu sancto 
locutus, gutturis intercepti liberum 
spiramen corisecutus est. 
(5) omitted. 

* " Memoriam," often used for 




the French- Greek form, " squinantia," and (3) shews a greater 
proneness to playing on words. All these differences are charac- 
teristic of William's general style as compared with Benedict's. 
There is nothing to prove that William had seen the earlier narra- 
tive : but he gives the impression that he had read it and is en- 
deavouring to improve on it. 

§ 2. Eilward of Westoning in Bedfordsfiire, mutilated for 
tfuft, is miraculously restored 
[710] (i.) Benedict (ii. 

(i) There vvras one of the 
common folk/ Eilward by 
name, in the king's town of 
Weston in the county of 
Bedford. One of his neigh- 
bours, Fulk, owed him a 
denarius as part of rent for 
cornland, and put off payment 
on the excuse of not having 
the money.^ One day, a 

William (i. 155-8) 

(i) This^ Ailward had a 
neighbour in his debt. When, 
on demanding it, he met with 
a refusal. 

( I ) Erat plebeius ' quidam in villa 
regia Westona in territorio Bedefordensi, 
Eilwardus nomine, cui ex vicinis suis 
quidam Fulco pro dimidii jugeris aratura 
duorum denariorum debito tenebatur. 
Qui, altero reddito, alterius solutionem 
usque in annum sequentem, sub non 
habentis specie, protelavit.^ Die 

(i) Ordinem rei non ab re esse 
putamus ad confirmationem posteritatis 
in fide dilucidare. Huic igitur Ailwardo • 
vicinus tenebatur in nummo ; quem cum 
repeteret, et ille solvere recusaret, 

^ ^* Plebeius" is very seldom used 
in introducing the common folk who 
are the most frequent subjects of miracles 
in Benedict's treatise. But this is one 
of the few instances where there seems 
to have been an anti-Norman feeling, 
or, at all events, a sense that a man of 
low degree had been unfairly treated 
by the authorities. 

- The whole rent was two denarii for 
half an acre (pro dimidii jugeris aratura). 

* William has placed at the head 
of his narrative a letter of attestation 
from the burgesses of Bedford. This 
mentions Ailward by name. Hence he 
begins thus abruptly with «' this Ail- 
ward." William spells the name 
" Ailward " (once " Ailword ") ; Bene- 
dict " Eilward." 




Benedict (ii. 173-82) 

holiday, when they were going 
to the alehouse together, as 
is the English custom, Eil ward 
asked for his money, and Fulk 
denied [the debt] on oath. 
Then Eilward bade him pay 
half, as he was going to 
liave some beer, and keep 
the other half for himself 
for beer likewise. On Fulk's 
still refusing, the other said 
he would be even with him. 

(2) After they had both 
got drunk, Eilward, leaving 
the ale-house before the other, 
turned aside to Fulk's cottage, 
tore away the bar, burst into 
the house, and carried away 

William (i. 155-8) 

(2) Ailward in a rage, 
rushing into his debtor's 
house — which the latter had 
fastened with a bar that hung 
down from the outside when 
he turned aside ' to the tavern 

quodam festo post beati martyris passio- 
nem, cum forte simul ad tabemam 
proficiscerentur (moris enim est Anglis 
feriantibus commessationibus et ebrieta- 
tibus indulgere, ut videant hostes et 
derideant sabbata eonim), exigente isto 
debitum, abjurat ille. Postulat iste ut 
emiti ad cervisiam saltern dimidium sibi 
solvat debiti, dimidio ad simile negotium 
sibi ipsi retento ; negante hoc nihilo- 
minus debitore, talionem se redditurum 
minatur exactor. 

(2) Utroque ad tabemam inebriate, 
surgens praetaxatus Eil wardus debitorem 
suum praecessit, et ad domum ejus 

(2) mot us ira domum debitoris, 
quam sera exterius dependente ad 
tabemam digressus^ obfirmaverat, ir- 


* William perhaps argued that 
' * turn aside " must mean going to the 
inn ("diversorium "). Benedict says 
that Eilward •' tumed aside" to Fulk's 
cottage, instead of going straight home. 




Benedict (ii. 173-82) 

a great grindstone and a pair 
of gloves, both scarcely of the 
value of a nunimus. The 
boys, who were playing in the 
courtyard, cried out, and run- 
ning to the tavern called their 
father out to reclaim his pro- 
perty. Fulk followed the 
thief, broke the man's head 
with the grindstone,^ wounded 
him in the arm with a knife, 
brought him back to the cot- 
tage, bound him, and 

William (i. 155-8) 

— tore away the bar as a 
pledge, and seizing at the 
same time a grindstone placed 
on the roof of the cottage, 
together with an awl ^ and a 
pair of gloves, went off. Word 
was then carried to their 
father by the boys, who were 
shut up in ^ the house at play, 
that a thief had broken in 
and gone off with plunder. 
Fulk followed him, wrested 
the grindstone from his hand 

divertens, avulsa ostii sera, tam im- 
petuosus quam ebrius effractor, domum 
irrupit. Evolvens domum, quaerensque 
quid auferat, cotem magnam offendit, 
et chirothecas, qualibus ruricolae contra 
spinarum aculeos manus armare consue- 
verunt ; sublatis utrisque vix pretium 
nummi praedo pauper asportavit. Ex- 
clamant pueri in atriodomuscoliudentes, 
et concurrentes ad tabernam, patrem 
suum evocant ut praedam excutiat. At 
ille hominem persecutus cotem extorsit, 
et eadem in caput praedonis vibrata, 
tam cotem in capite quam caput cote 
confregit.^ Exserto quoque cuspidis 
acutae cultello quern ferebat, brachium 
ejusdem perforavit. Praevaluit ad- 
versus eum, miserumque, ut furem, ut 
raptorem, ut effractorem reducens, in 
dome, quam effregerat, coUigavit. 

rumpens, seram in pignus avulsit, arrep- 
taque simul cote apposita tecto casae, 
cum terebro^ chirothecisque, discessit. 
Nuntiatum est autem a pueris, qui infra 
domum ludebant inclusi,* patrifamilias, 
quia confracta domo, supellectilique 
direpta, raptor abscederet. Qui in- 
secutus eum comprehendit, et cotem a 

3 Benedict, who is very diffuse here, 
and evidently takes great pity on " the 
poor robber," says that Fulk also broke 
the grindstone on Eilward's head. The 
version given above is condensed ; the 
original, though verbose, omits some 
facts mentioned by William. 

3 The "awl" is mentioned by 
Benedict (note 4) among articles not 
taken by the prisoner. 

* William seems to think that Fulk 
would not have locked his cottage from 
the outside except to shut the boys in 
(? " infra " misprint for * « intra "). This 
seems contrary to Benedict's "in the 




Benedict (ii. 173-82) 

(3) (he) called in Fulk 
the beadle of the village, to 
know what he must do with 
his prisoner. " The charge," 
said the beadle, " is not heavy 
enough. If you tie a few 
more things round the prisoner 
and produce him thus, you 
can accuse him of breaking 
the law." The debtor agreed, 
and fastened round his pris- 
oner's neck an awl,* a two- 
edged axe, a net, and some 

William (i. 155-8) 
and wounded his head [with 
it]. Then, drawing a knife, 
he pierced his arm, and, bring- 
ing him back as a thief taken 
in the act, bound him in the 
house he had broken into. 

(3) When a crowd gath- 
ered,^ with Fulk the beadle, 
it was suggested by the beadle 
— because stealing under the 
value of one numvius does 
not subject a man to mutila- 
tion — that he should add to 
the number of the things 
stolen. So there was placed 
close to the prisoner a bundle 
of skins, cloaks, napkins, 
gowns, with a tool commonly 
called a " volgonium." Next 

(3) Accersit deinde praeconem villae 
Fulconem ; quid facto opus sit inter- 
rogaL At ille, " Brevis," inquit, " et 
insufficiens est causa pro qua captus 
est ; si vero, aucto furto, aliis rebus 
quasi furtivis oneratum produxeris, 
plectendi eum sceleris poterisaccusare." 
Acquievit ille, et terebro,* bisacuta, 
reti, vestibusque nonnuUis siniul cum 

manu bajulantis extorquens caput vul- 
neravit. Extractoque cultello brachium 
transfigens, eum quasi furem manifestum 
cum concepto furto reductum ligavit in 
domo quam fregerat. 

(3) Concurrente autem turba,® cum 
apparitore Fulcone, quia res furtiva 
pretii unius nummi hominem non 
mutilat, suggestum est ab apparitore ut 
furtum rebus aliis, quasi furtivis, augeret ; 
quod et factum est. Fosita est itaque 
juxta ligatum sarciniila pellium, laenae, 
lintei, togae, cum fcrramento quod vol- 
gonium vulgus appellat. Postera die 

* " Awl," See note 3 on William's 

* Why does William add these 
words ? Is it to convict Fulk the beadle 
of giving this infamous advice ? With- 
out the presence of witnesses, he could 
not be convicted. 




Benedict (ii. 173-82) 

clothes, together with the 
grindstone and the gloves, 
and on the following day 
brought him thus before the 
king's officers. 

(4) So having been taken 
to Bedford he was kept in 
the prison there for a month. 
He sent for a priest, in whose 
hearing (after confessing his 
sins) he vowed a pilgrimage 
to Jerusalem if he escaped, 
and he begged that he might 
be branded with a cross on 

William (i. 155-8) 

day he was led to trial before 
one Richard, a viscount, and 
the knights with him, with 
the above-mentioned bundle 
fastened round his neck. 

(4) The matter being 
doubtful, in order to avoid 
a hasty decision, the prisoner 
was remanded for a month 
to custody in Bedford, Mean- 
time he secretly^ sent for a 
village priest, who heard him 
confess, and advised him to 
appeal to the protection of 

cote et chirothecis in collo illius colli- 
gatis, officialibus regis die postera prac- 

(4) Tractus itaque Bedefordiam in 
custodia publica mense uno tentus est, 
et accito presbytero quodam venerabili, 
Pagano, utpote periculis extremis ex- 
positus, ad mortem, immo et ad vitam, 
se praeparat, et omnia conscientiae suae 
secreta evolvens, quicquid saluti coii- 
trarium invenit in tutis presbyteri 
auribus effundit. Sed et de corporis 
sui liberatione spem suam divinae 
miserationi committens, " Domine," 
inquit, "carissime, terram quam Dei 
Filius, Dominus noster Jesus, et vita 
temporali sanctificavit et morte, pedes 
adibo, si necessitatis instantis articulum 
evasero. Unde et humero meo dextro 
candenti ferro signum crucis precor 

ad cognitionem Ricardi cujusdam vice- 
comitis militumque comitatus cum prae- 
dicta sarcinula ductus est, quae et collo 
ejus appensa est. 

(4) Ne autem de re dubia praecipi- 
taretur sententia, in publica custodia 
Bedeford suspenso judicio per mensem 
tentus est. Interim clam ^ vocato Pagano 
presbytero suos excessus omnes ab in- 
eunte aetate confessus est ; a quo et 

* Omitted here by Benedict, who 
however states that the priest's access 
was subsequently forbidden ; and this 
suggests that it was secret from the first. 




Benedict (ii. 173-82) 

the shoulder. The Priest 
branded him accordingly, but 
also suggested that he should 
seek the protection of the 
Saints, and especially of St. 
Thomas, measuring his body 
for the length and thickness 
of a candle to be offered to 
the Martyr, and also giving 
him a bundle of rods that 
self-punishment might accom- 
pany his invocations. Then 
he left him, saying that the 
judges had forbidden any 
priest to have further access 
to the accused. However 

William (i. 155-8) 

the blessed Mary and all 
the Saints, and especially St. 
Thomas ; to put away anger ; 
not to distrust God's com- 
passion ; and to bear patiently 
what he might have to suffer, 
looking to remission of sins : 
— and that, all the more 
earnestly because, having 
been christened on Whitsun- 
eve, he could not sink in 
water or be burned in fire 
(according to the common 
belief) if he had to undergo 
either of these ordeals." He 
also gave him a rod for self- 

inuri, quod mihi, licet vestes auferantur, 
auferre nemo praevaleat." Fecit ille 
ut fuerat rogatus, commonens ut ad 
sanctorum suffragia devotus confugeret, 
maxime vero gloriosi martyris Thomae, 
quem Dominus tanta signorum gloria 
mirificavit. Filo praeterea longitudi- 
nem latitudinemque corporis ejusmensus 
est, unde factam candelam sancto 
martyri liberatus offerret. Flagellum 
etiam de virgis ei praebens, " Accipe," 
inquit, "virgas istas, et cum invocatione 
martyris quinquies quotidie priusquam 
gustes tibi ipsi tortor existe, nee cesses 
ad martyrcm die noctuve genua flectere, 
martyrem invocare, nisi cum, impor- 
lunitatc somni gravatus, naturae de- 
ficient! cogeris succurrere." Diligentius 
igitur instructum dimisit, inhibitum esse 
a judicibus asseverans, ne ullus presby- 
terorum ulterius ad eum haberet acces- 
sum. Mittebat tamen saepenumero 

monitus est suffragia Beatae Mariae 
sanctorumque omnium, et maxime beati 
Thomae, quem Dominus virtutum et 
signorum indiciis glorificare dignatus 
est, suppliciter implorare ; omnem iram 
et incentivum odiorum ab animo seclu- 
dere ; de Dei misericordia non diffidere, 
et quicquid pati cogeretur, aequanimiter 
in remissionem peccatorum sustinere, 
et eo attentius quod vigilia Pentecostes 
ipse parvulus regeneratus aqua submergi 
vel igne cremari non posset, sicut vul- 
garis habet opinio, si judicium alter- 
utrum subiturus esset ^ ; vii^amque 
dedit qua quinquies in die susccpta 

^ " Ordeals." See note 9, below. 




Benedict (ii. 173-82) 

the Priest still sent messages 
to his window to comfort and 
strengthen him in secret. 
Also the Prior of Bedford 
often supplied him with food, 
visited him and had him out 
for a breathing-space now 
and then, in the open air. 

(5) At the beginning of 
the fifth week he was had up 
for trial. On his asserting 
that he took what he took, 
as a pledge, and that he did 
not take the other articles at 

William (i. 155-8) 

discipline. The man willingly- 
heard him ; he also measured 
the thickness of his own ^ body, 
devotinghimself to the Martyr, 
and promising a better life. 
Moreover, fearing that his 
clothes might be taken from 
him he imprinted the sign of 
the cross with a hot iron on 
his shoulder. 

(5) It came to pass that, 
as the magistrates were meet- 
ing at Leighton Buzzard, the 
accused was taken thither. 
Thereupon he demanded trial 
by battle, or else ordeal by 

qui eum occulta per fenestram ad indicia 
sibi vel negligentem excitaret, vel 
studiosum magis accenderet. Sed et 
prior canonicorum de Bedfordia Gau- 
fridus, quern ethujus admirandi miraculi 
testem habemus, victus ei necessario 
saepius administrabat, saepius incarcer- 
atum visitabat, et ut saltern ad horam 
respiraret, eductum de carcere sub divo 
deambulare faciebat. 

(5) Jam quatuor septimanis exactis, 
quintae principium advenerat, quum 
eductus miser de carcere ad concilium 
trahitur judicandus. Impetit eum ac- 
cusator crimine furti ; impositum crimen 
constantius ille repellit, et omnibus quae 
sibi a collo pendebant longius excussis, 
de cote duntaxat fatetur et chirothecis, 
quod eas in pignus pro debito acceperit ; 

disciplina Dei misericordiam in se pro- 
vocaret. Qui monita libenter audiens, 
circumducto filo corpori suo® martyri 
se devovit, emendatiorem vitam pro- 
mittens, timensque sibi panniculos suos 
diripi, in dextro humero calido ferro 
signum crucis impressit. 

(5) Factum est autem ut conveni- 
entibus ad vicum Legtune magistratibus 
reus eo duceretur. Ubi cum impetitore 
suo Fulcone monomachiam inire aut 
judicium ignis subire postulavit ; sed 

* The difference between Benedict 
and William is represented by the 
difference between "ejus" and "suum," 
which are often confused in these books. 




Benedict (ii. 173-82) 
all, he was again remanded 
to prison. In the fifth week 
Jie was again tried on the 
charge of stealing simply the 
ijrindstone and the gloves. 
For the accuser, fearing to 
undergo the ordeal of battle 
demanded by the accused, 
condemned by silence all his 
previous charges, and — hav- 
ing on his side the viscount 
and the judges — managed 
to free himself from obliga- 
tion to fight, and to secure 
that the accused should be 
tried by ordeal of water. 

William (i. 155-8) 
fire ; but by the assent of the 
beadle Fulk — who had re- 
ceived an ox to bring this 
about — he was bound over 
to ordeal by water, lest he 
should by any possibility 

furtum et scelus omnimodum inficiatur. 
Dilato judicio, carcerali rursus manci- 
patur custodiae. Itaque quinta post 
hebdomada extractus, et tractus item 
ad concilium, super cotis tantummodo 
et chirothecarum furto ab adversario suo 
impetitiu. Ille enim, quia postulante 
reo monomachiam inire sibi metue- 
bat, omnia quibus ilium ante insimu- 
laverat silentio damnavit, et vicecomi- 
tem judicesque habens sibi propitios, 
ut a duelli necessitate seipsum excu- 
teret, et alteraquae judicioexaminaretur, 

annuente Fulcone apparitore, qui ob id 
ipsum bovem acceperat, judicio aquae 
adjudicatus est, ne quoquomodo evadere 

' Being bom on XVhitsun eve (see 
710 (4) above), he could not " sink 
(submergi)." Being unable to " sink," 
he was sure to be condemned on this 
ordeal. This seems to be the meaning 
of the obscure passage : and hence 
William inserts mention of the Whitsun 
superstition in 710 (4)- 




Benedict (ii. 173-82) 

(6) Now it was the Sab- 
bath, and the examination 
was put off till the third day 
of the following week, he 
himself being again kept in 
prison, and not allowed by 
the cruelty of his keeper to 
keep vigil in the church — a 
right conceded by the com- 
passion of religion to all that 
are to purge themselves [by 
ordeal] from criminal charge. 
In prison, however, he de- 
voutly kept the watch that 
he was not allowed to keep 
in the church. 

When brought out to the 
water [-ordeal], he was met 
by thp village priest, who ex- 
horted him to bear all pati- 
ently, looking to remission of 

William (i. 155-8) 

(6) Then he was taken 
back to Bedford for a month.^'' 

(6) Erat autem sabbatam, et usque 
in feriam tertiam hebdomadae sequenti'- 
examinatio dilata est, ipso iterum con- 
servato in carcere, Vigiliam in ecclesia, 
quam seipsos a crimine purgaturis con- 
cessit Christianae religionis pietxs, 
negavit ei custodis crudelitas. In car- 
cere tamen excubias devotus celebravit, 
quas ei in ecclesia celebrare non licuit. 

Educto ad aquam obvius venit 
presbyter praenominatus, Paganus, 
commonens omnia aequanimiter in 
peccatorum remissionem sustinere, 

(6) Inde Bedeford reductus, in car- 
cere mensem exegit.'" 

•* Did William derive his "month " 
from some corruption of Benedict's "in 
feriam iii hebdomadae," e.g. "in fere 
jam V hebdomada " ? 




Benedict (ii. 173-82) 

sins, to entertain no anger in 
his heart, to forgive all his 
enemies heartily [all they had 
done to him], and not to de- 
spair of the compassion of 
God."^ He replied, " May the 
will of God and the Martyr 
Thomas be fulfilled in me," 

(7) When plunged into 
the water he was found 
guilty. The beadle, Fulk, 
now seized him, saying, " This 
way, rascal, this way ! " 
" Thanks be to God," said 
the other, "and to the holy 
Martyr Thomas ! " Dragged 
to the place of execution, he 
was deprived of his eyes, and 
also mutilated according to 
law. As for his left eye. 

William (i. 155-8) 

(7) Thither the judges 
assembled, and after he had 
been delivered over to be 
tried by ordeal of water, he 
received the sad sentence of 
condemnation. He was then 
led to the place of execution. 
His eyes were gouged out. 
The privy members were also 
cut off in accordance with 
the law of mutilation and 
buried in the earth in the 

odium et iram in animo non habere, 
omnibus adversariis suis omnia ex corde 
dimittere, et de Dei misericord la non 
desperare.5 At ille, " Fiat," inquit, 
" Dei et martyris Thomae voluntas in 

(7) Demissus in aquam reus depre- 
henditur ; quem praeco praedictus 
Fulco arripiens, •• Hue," inquit, 
"scelerate, hue venies ad me." Et 
ille, '• Deo gratias et sancto martyri 
Thomae ! " Tractus itaque ad locum 
supplicii, orbatur oculis, genitalibus 
mutilatur. Et oculum quidem sinistrum 

(7) Quo convenientibus judicibus, 
cum judicio aquae traderetur exami- 
nandus, damnationis suae tristem excepit 
sententiam, eductusque ad locum 
supplicii, oculis effossis et virilibus 
abscisis mutilatus est, quae multitudine 

'* William has similar words above, 

in (4). 




Benedict (ii. 173-82) 

they at once extracted that, 
whole ; as for the right, after 
being lacerated and chopped 
to pieces it was at last with 
difficulty gouged out. The 
members of which he had been 
deprived by mutilation they 
hid under the sod ; and (in 
accordance with what is read 
about the man that " fell 
among robbers ") they 
stripped him, and, after in- 
flicting wounds ^ on him as 
aforesaid, they " departed, 
leaving him half dead." 

He was mutilated by his 
accuser Fulk, and the official 
of the same name (by whose 
suggestion and advice the 
man is believed to have been 
brought into this misery), and 

William (i. 155-8) 
sight of a multitude of the 
common folk. 

All the time he was 
suffering, he ceased not to 
implore the help of God, and 
to invoke St. Thomas, for- 
giving the torturers all their 
cruelty towards him. 

statim integrum eruerunt ; dexter autem, 
laceratus et in frusta concisus, vix 
tandem effossus est. Membra, quibus 
eum mutilaverant, sub cespite abscon- 
derunt, et, juxta quod de illo legitur 
qui incidit in latrones, despoliaverunt 
eum, et plagis,' ut praedictum est, 
impositis, abierunt, semivivo relicto. 
Confluxerat ad spectaculum non parva 
populi multitude, quibusdam nomine 
publicaepotestatiscompulsis, quibusdam 
curiositate attractis. Mutilaverant eum 
accusator ejus Fulco et ejusdem nomi- 
nis regis officialis, cujus instinctu con- 
silioque in tantam creditur devenisse 

vidente plebis terrae infossa sunt. 
Inter plectendum, divinum auxilium 
implorare non cessabat, et beatum 
Thomam invocare, remittens tortoribus 
quicquid in se crudeliter ^erant. 

' "Plagis" must mean the blows 
with the knife above-mentioned. 

5; 710 



Benedict (ii. 173-82) 
also by two other execu- 
tioners with them : whom, 
however, when they asked 
pardon, for the love of God 
and St. Thomas the Martyr 
he freely forgave, crying aloud 
that he would go to the Mar- 
tyr's memorial, blind though 
he was, and persisting in the 
cry with a wonderful faith — 
knowing that it was more 
glorious for the Martyr to 
restore eyes that had been 
taken away than to preserve 
them when not taken. 

(8) He was attended by 
none but his daughter, twelve 
years old, who had also 
begged food for him when in 
prison. For, as all his goods 
were confiscated, all his friends 
spurned him, and there was 
no one, of all those dear to 

William (i. 155-8) 

(8) After the infliction of 
his punishment, he was led 
into the town and hospitably 
received by one Ailbricht. 

miseriam, el cum iis lictores alii duo ; 
quibus tamen veniam petentibus pro 
Dei et sancti Thomae martyris amore 
libenter indulsit, martyris memoriam 
aditurum se, licet lumine orbatum, 
admiranda fide inclamitans, de martyris 
pietate virtuteque non difiidere; martyri 
sciens gloriosius esse oculos restituere 
perdjtos, quam non ablatos conservasse. 
(8) Secuta eum fuerat sola filia sua 
duodennis, quae et incarcerate ali- 
moniam mendicaverat. Confiscatis 
enim omnibus quae habuerat, omnes 
amici ejus spreverunt eum, ncc erat qui 

(8) Peracto supplicio, vicum in- 
ductus est, et exceptus hospitio cujus- 
dam Ailbrichti. 




Benedict (ii. 173-82) 
him, to take compassion on 
him. Such a stream of blood 
gushed from his wounds that, 
in fear of his death, those 
who were present sent for a 
priest. To him he confessed. 
By degrees, however, when 
the flow of blood was as- 
suaged, led by the little girl, 
he returned to Bedford, where 
he threw himself down against 
the wall of a house ; and all 
that day, till evening, no man 
shewed him kindness. But 
at nightfall, one Eilbrict took 
compassion on him, and will- 
ingly welcomed him into his 
house from the cold and rain. 
(9) There, after many 
vigils and prayers, in the 

William (i. 155-8) 

(9) There ten days passed. 
One night, before sleeping- 

consolaretur eum ex omnibus caris ejus. 
De vulneribus ejus tanta sanguiais 
emanavit copia, ut metu mortis sus- 
pectae presbyterum accersirent qui 
aderant; cui et confessus est. Paulatim 
tamen cruoris fluxu restricto, ductu 
puellulae in villam Bedfordensem 
rediens, et juxta parietem domus se 
projiciens, diem ilium nullo sibi coUato 
humanitatis beneficio duxit ad vesperam. 
Succedente jam noctis crepusculo, 
misertus ejus vir quidam nomine 
Eilbrictus, maxime quia aeris incle- 
mentia et pluviarum inundatio sub divo 
jacentem plurimum molestasset, excepit 
ilium gaudens in domum suam. 

(9) Fecit igitur in tenebris dies 
decem, vigiliis orationibusque dans 

(9) Quo decem evolutis diebus, 
una noctium ante conticinium beatum 




Benedict (ii. 173-82) 

first watch of the tenth night, 
he whom he had invoked 
appeared to Eilward in his 
sleep, clothed in snow-white 
garments, with his pastoral 
staff painting the sign of the 
cross on his forehead and on 
his eyeless sockets. A second 
time he appeared, before dawn, 
bidding him persevere in 
watching and praying, and 
place his hope in God, and 
the blessed Virgin Mary, and 
St. Thomas who had come 
to visit him : " If, on the 

William (i. 155-8) 

time, he saw St. Thomas 
(whom he had been constantly 
all the time invoking) clothed 
in white, imprinting, between 
his eyebrows, the sign of the 
cross with his pastoral staff, 
and again doing the same 
thing before dawn, and saying 
" Sleepest thou, good man ? 
Watch ! To-morrow must 
thou keep vigil at the altar 
of the blessed Mary with a 
light,^^ Lo, Thomas hath 
come to thee and thou shalt 
receive sight." ^^ Also, after 

operam. Nocte vero diei decimi, 
prima noctis vigilia, post luctus, 
gemitus, et suspiria in somnum resolute 
apparuit quern invocaverat, nivei can- 
doris vestibus indutus, baculoque pas- 
torali signum crucis in fronte ejus et 
oculorum foraminibus depingens, sub 
sUentio discedere visus est. Experge- 
iiactus ille et visionis negligens projecit 
se rursus et obdonnivit. Iterum ergo 
ante lucanum rediit in albis qui in 
sanguine Agni vestes suas dealbaverat ; 
dixitque viro, " Homo bone, donnis?" 
Vigilare se fatenti, "Noli," ait, "noli 
dormire, sed vigila, insiste orationibus. 
Noli diflfidere, sed spem tuam in Deo 

Thomam, quem assidue vocabat, vidit 
in somnis, alba veste indutum, sibi 
inter supercilia baculo pastorali signum 
crucis imprimentem, denuoque ante 
lucanum idem facientem, et dicentem, 
"Homo bone, dormis? Vigila; die 
crastina tibi est ad altare beatae Mariae 
cum lucema " excubandum. Ecce 
venitad te Thomas, et visum recipies." '^ 

1' " Lucema," see Benedict, foot- 
note 7. 

•* Nole that, whereas Benedict 
makes the recovery of sight conditional 
on the vigil in St. Mary's church, 
William does not. The next section 
will shew that he received his sight 
before that vigil. So that Benedict is 
inconsistent with himself. 




Benedict (ii. 173-82) 
night of the morrow, thou 
keep watch with a waxen 
light " before the altar of the 
blessed Mary in her church 
close by, and devote thyself 
to prayer, in faith, and with- 
out doubting, thou shalt be 
gladdened by the restoration 
of thine eyes." The maid- 
servant also had a similar 
dream. When she told it to 
Eilward, he replied, " So it 
may be when it shall please 
God and His blessed Martyr, 

(10) When it was grow- 
ing toward evening and the 

William (i. 155-8) 

sunrise, the maid -servant told 
Ailward a dream to the same 
effect. He replied, " Even 
this is possible with the 
Lord, as indeed all things 
are possible." 

(10) When the sun was 
toward setting, the left eye 

et beata virgine Maria pone, et sancto 
Thoma, qui te venit visitare ; ei si 
nocte proxima in ecclesia beatae Mariae 
vicina, coram virginis ejusdem altari, 
cum lucerna " cerea excubaveris, et ora- 
tionibus incumbens in fide non hae^i- 
taveris, oculorum restitutione gaudebis. " 
Excusso somnotractat homosecum tacite 
quid visio talis portendere possit ; utrumve 
potius integumento remoto promissio 
sancti mancipetur effectui. Talia secreto 
volventi, quasi dextri ominis nuntia, 
respondit domus ancilla, "Videbam 
hac nocte in somnis, Eilwarde, te 
utriusque oculi visum recuperare." At 
ille, " Sic fieri poterit, cum Deo et 
beato martyri ejus Thomae placuerit" 
(10) Cumque advesperasceret et 

Orto autem sole dixit ancilla, "Vide- 
bam in somnis, Ailworde, te visum 
recuperasse. " Respondit, *« Possibile 
est hoc Domino, sicut et omnia 
possibilia sunt. " 

(10) Inclinata vero die, pruriente 

" •' Lucerna," rarely thus used in 
either treatise. 




Benedict (ii. 173-82) 

sun was toward setting,^ the 
eyelids of his left eye began 
to itch. In order to scratch 
them, he removed a waxen 
poultice which had been 
applied, either for the purpose 
of drawing out the purulent 
matter of the empty orbs, or 
for the purpose of closing 
the eye-lids themselves : and, 
as by the wonderful power 
of God ^ he opened his eye- 
lids, there was seen to shine 
in on the house-wall in front 
of him as it were the bright- 
ness of a lantern : for it was 
the red sunlight, since the 
sun was by this time verg- 

William (i. 155-8) 

began to itch ; and in the act 
of scratching it, he removed 
some wax and a poultice 
that had been applied to 
draw out the purulent matter. 
Seeing the sun-light on the 
wall,heexclaimed," Praised be 
God, I see." His host, dumb- 
founded, replied, " What is 
the matter ? You are mad " ; 
and, drawing ^^ away (?) his 
hands before the man's eyes, 
"You see," said he, "that 
which I am doing ? " He 
replied, " I see your hand 

inclinata esset jam dies,* prurientibus 
sibi oculi sinistri ciliis, ut ea ungue 
scalperet, malagma cereum, quod sive 
ad extrahendas orbium vacuorum 
purulentias, seu ad ipsa cilia claudenda 
fuerat appositum, amovit ; ciliaque 
mira Dei virtute aperienli videbatur® 
in opposite domus pariete quasi lucemae 
splendor irradiare ; erat enim radius 
Solaris rubens, sole jam ad occasum 

sinistro oculo, scalpens ungue ceram 
summovit et malagma quod appositum 
fuerat ad purulentias extrahendas. 
Visoque radio solis in pariete, exclama- 
vit, "Adoretur Deus ! video." Ad 
quam vocem hospes obstupescens ait, 
"Quid est? deliras." Et ante oculos 
ejus deducta*^ manu sua, "Vides," 
inquit, " quod ago ? " Respondit, 
"Video motam manum." 

• <* Inclinata dies" seems to have 
this meaning, since it (l) follows 
"advesperascere," and (2) precedes 
"vei^ente ad occasum." 

' "Ciliaque mira Dei virtute 
aperitnti videbatur." The italicized 
words seem misplaced. The sense 
demands " there was seen by the 
mighty power of God." 

*' See Benedict, note 10. 


Benedict (ii. 173-82) 
ing toward his going down. 
But he, ignorant of the truth, 
and distrusting himself about 
the matter, called the master 
of the house, and shewed 
him his fancy. " You are 
mad, Eilward, you are mad," 
replied his host : " be silent ! 
You know not what you 
are saying." " Sir," he said, 
" I assure you I am not mad : 
but I verily seem to myself 
to see as I say with my left 
eye." Shaken in his mind, 
and anxious to ascertain the 
truth, his host spread out ^° 
his hand before his eyes and 
said to him, " Do you see 
that which I am doing ? " He 
answered, " Your hand is 

vergente. Ignarus tamen veritatis, et 
sibi ipsi super hoc incredulus, dominum 
domus vocavit, quid opinaretur ostendit. 
Cui ille, " Insanis, Eilwarde, insanis : 
tace, nescis quid loqueris." " Nequa- 
quam," inquit, "domine, insanio ; sed 
ita revera oculo sinistra mihi videre 
videor." Fluctuans autem hospes ejus, 
certitudinisque sciendae sollicitus, manu 
ante oculos ejus diducta,'" dixit ei, 
"Videsne quod ago?" Respondit, 

1° " Diducit," in classical Latin, 
implies the outspread hand as dis- 
tinguished from the closed fist. But 
here it may mean " move in different 
directions." William's "deducta" is 
probably an error of transcription. 




Benedict (ii. 173-82) 

moved before my eyes and 
dra\vn this way and that." 
Then he told Eilbricht, in 
order, all about his visions, 
and the precepts or promises 
he had received. 

(11) The thing was noised 
abroad. A multitude col- 
lected, and, among them, 
Osbern the dean — who had 
control, or rather service, of 
the above-mentioned church.^^ 
He brought the good man 
before the altar, instructed 
and strengthened his faith, 
and then placed a light in 
his hand. As soon as this 
was done, Eilward declared 
he distinctly saw the altar 
cloth ; then, the image of 

William (i. 155-8) 

(11) So they called the 
dean of the town. The crowd 
streamed together, and Ail- 
ward was snatched away and 
taken to the house of prayer. 
Now there began to grow 
up little eyes of extreme 
smallness, the right one 
perfectly black, the left parti- 
coloured, whereas he had 
both parti-coloured from his 

" J*uto manum tuam motam ante oculos 
meos hue illucque duci." Tunc a 
principio primae visionis incipiens, quid 
v4derit, quid sibi vel praeceptum fuerit 
vel promissum, seriatim enarravit. 

(II) Exiit ergo sermo iste inter 
vicinos, et populi multitudinem non 
parvam novitatum novitas attraxit. 
Accurrit et Osebernus decanus, ecclesiae 
praedictae dominus, aut potius mini- 
ster " ; et audita viri visione, virum 
in ecclesiam introducit, collocat coram 
beatae Virginis altari, instruit et con- 
fortat ad fidem. Data in manu ejus 
lucema, pallam altaris se pcrspicue 

(II) Igitur vocato ejusdem villae 
decano, et confluente turba, direptus 
est, et in oratorium ductus. Suc- 
crescebant autem nimiae parvitatis 
ocelli, dexter penitus niger, et sinister 
varius, cum varios ambos habuerit a 

" 1.*. St. Mary's. Benedict corrects 
the common phrase "dominus ecclesiae," 
as not l)eing so seemly as " minister." 
VOL. 11 


Benedict (ii, 173-82) 

the blessed Virgin Mary ; then, objects of smaller 

The people marvelled more and more. Presently, 
testing the source of his sight, they detect two very small 
pupils latent, deep in the head, scarcely as large as the 
pupils of the eye of a little bird. These, also, incessantly 
increasing, prolonged by their slow augmentation the wonder 
of all that beheld them. The shouts of the people went up 
to heaven ; they give God due praise ; the bells are set 
ringing; crowds flock in from their beds; keeping vigil 
with their brother who had received the gift of light, they 
sleeplessly await the light of the sun. 

In the morning, the whole of the town gathered together, 
and then, examining the man more closely, they found 
that whereas, before, both his eyes were parti-coloured, 
now he had one parti-coloured, but the other quite black. 
Now came, among others, the priest of St. John's church, 
the same who had received Eilward's confession after 
mutilation. When he beheld the wonderful miracle of God, 
" Why," said he, " do we wait for papal precept ? No 
more delaying for me ! This very moment will I begin, 
and conduct to the end, a solemn service, in the name 

videre fatetur : deinde beatae Mariae virginis imaginem, postremo quaelibet 
alia minoris corpora quantitatis. Crescit stupor populo quantum viro gratia 
visus. Probaturi unde procedat vis ilia videndi, ab oculis videlicet novis, 
an ab evacuatis foraminibus absque pupilla, deprehendunt pupillas duas 
parvulas profundius in capite latitantes, pupillis avis parvae vix quantitate coae- 
quas, quae, etiam incessanter crescentes, omnibus intuentibus ineffabilem incredi- 
bilemque stuporem lenta sui augmentatione continuabant. Attollitur igitur 
ad coelum clamor populi, laudes Deo debitae persolvuntur, signa pulsantur 
ecclesiae, confluunt plurimi, qui jam obdormierant, et cum ilium inato suo 
lumen solis insomnes expectant. Mane autem turba totius ^-illae in unum con- 
globata diligentius clara luce intuentes, alterum oculorum varium, alterum 
prorsus nigrum adverterunt, quum natales ambos varios habuerit. Accurrit 
autem inter alios et presbyter de ecclesia sancti Johannis, qui mutilati confes- 
sionem susceperat, et mira Dei visa virtute, "Quid," inquit, " auctoritatis 
apostolicae praestolamur praeceptum ? Absit ut ulterius exspectem ; jam nunc 




Benedict (ii. 173-82) 

of Thomas the glorious friend 
of God, since in truth he is 
a martyr beyond price. Who 
can hesitate to give the name 
of martyr to one who does 
such mightyand such merciful 
deeds ? " So he ran to his 
church, set the bells ringing, 
and was as good as his word. 
(12) Now no longer 
bereft of light but bedecked 
therewith, even as he had 
been dragged with ignominy 
through the midst of the town 
to endure his punishment, so 
now through the self- same 
street, amid the praise and 
applause of the people, he was 
led back to the church of St. 
Paul, where also he passed the 
eve of the Lord's day in vigil. 
Departing thence he hastened 

William (L 155-8) 

(12) See the Latin below. 

de glorioso Dei amico Thoma, utpote 
de maityre pretiosissimo, solenne in- 
choabo servitium, et ad finem usque 
complebo. Quis ambigat martyrem 
esse, qui tanta facit et talia?" et ad 
ecclesiam currens, pulsatis signis, dicta 
factis implevit. 

(12) Vir autetn, non jam orbatus 
lumine, dico, sed ornatus, sicut per 
medium villae cum ignominia fuerat 
tractus ad poenam, ita et eadem via 
cum gloria populi et favore reducitur 
ad sancti Pauli ecclesiam, in qua etiam 
noctem Dominicam duxit insomnem. 
Indc discedens ad salutis suae auctorem 

(12) Genitalia vero, quae cuilibet 
palpanda praebebat, infra quantitatem 
testium galli poterant aestimari. 



Benedict (ii. 173-82) 

his journey to St. Thomas, 
the author of his restoration. 
Whatever gifts folk gave him, 
he bestowed on the poor, 
for love of the Martyr. . . . 

(13) On his coming to 
London, he was received with 
congratulations by Hugh, 
Bishop of Durham, who would 
not let him go from himself, 
till he had sent a messenger 
to Bedford and had been 
certified of the facts after 
diligent inquiry. 

(14) But even after we 

William (i. IS5-8) 

(13) William omits this. 
[But he inserts, later in his 
treatise, a letter from this 
bishop, speaking of a similar 
miracle as (i. 420) " of a new 
kind conceded by the Divine 
munificence to our St. 
Thomas ; which we heard 
to have taken place long ago 
at Bedford, and know to have 
been afterwards repeated in 
our city of Durham."] 

(14) The things that we 

Thomam iter arripuit. Quacunque 
transibat, sequebatur eum multitudo 
plebis copiosa ; fama namque prae- 
volans in occursum ejus quoslibet ex- 
citavit. Quicquid ei muneris confere- 
bant, pro martyris amore pauperibus 
erogabat. Quasi quatuor passuum 
millia confecerat, cum prurientem sibi 
testium folliculum adjecta manu scal- 
pere coepit ; et etiam membra ilia sibi 
restituta comperit, parva quidem valde 
sed in majus proficientia, quae etiam 
volenti cuilibet palpare non negavit. 

(13) Londonias venientem episcopus 
Dunelmensis Hugo gratulabundus ex- 
cepit, nee ante a se dimiltere voluit, 
quam misso Bedefordiam nuntio et 
diligenter inquisita veritate certificatus 

(14) Sed ct apud nos eodem sus- 

(13) omitted. 

(14) Quae vidimus et audivimus 




William (i. 155-8) 

have heard and seen we speak 
and testify. For he of whom 
we speak, having been sent to 
Canterbury, remained many 
days with us, receiving an 
allowance from the Martyr's 

Benedict (ii. 173-82) 

had received him in our house 
at Canterbury, although he 
had been preceded by the 
testimony of very many wit- 
nesses, yet we did not feel 
satisfied till we heard the 
substance of the above-written 
statements confirmed by the 
letter and testimony ^^ of the 
citizens of Bedford. For they 
directed to us a document of 
which the contents were as 
follows : 

[711] "The Burgesses of Bedford" to the convent of 
Canterbury and to all the faithful in Christ, health ! Be it 

cepto, licet plurimorum praecurrisset 
testimonium, tunc primo nobis satis- 
factum est cum praedictorum summam 
litteris et testimonio^^ civium Bede- 
fordensium confirmatam audivimus. 
Direxerunt enim nobis apices in hunc 
modum continentes : 

" Burgenses Bedefordiae" conventui 
Christo, salutem. 

loquimur et testamur. Is enim de quo 
loquimur, Cantuariam transmissus, dies 
multos mansit apud nos, de martyris 
substantia stipem habens. 

Cantuariensi, et omnibus iidelibus in 

" " Litteris et testimonio " might 
possibly mean "by an[other] letter and 
[also] by the testimony. " But Benedict 
would have probably inserted "aliis" 
had that been his meaning. In the third 
miracle of this kind, Benedict has " lit- 
teras testimonii," see lielow, 737 (19). 
But the use of two nouns in the same case, 
instead of one noun qualified by another 
in the genitive, is common in Latin. 

" William places this before the narrative and after a prologue enumerating the 
many evils healed by the Martyr. Consequently, he inserts *' then " for con- 
nection's sake (" To come to facts then ") " Burgenses igiturdc Bedeford." This 
particle frequently introduces miraculous fact, after a moral preface. 

In the next sentence, William has corrupted " sciat " into " sicut " (unless it 


Benedict (ii. 173-82) 
known to the convent of Canterbury, and further (" necnon," 
om. by W.) to all catholics, that God hath wrought in 
Bedford a wonderful and illustrious miracle on account of 
the merits of the most holy (W., " holy, sancti ") Thomas, the 
Martyr. For it happened that a countryman of Westoning, 
Eilward (W. " Ailward ") by name, for some theft, of the 
value of only one numtnus, having been taken and brought 
before the viscount of Bedford, and before the knights of the 
county, and having been by them publicly condemned, was 
deprived of his eyes and privy members, in the presence of 
clergy and laity, [men] and women. This is also testified by 
the chaplain of St. John in Bedford, to whom the aforesaid 
countryman confessed [after mutilation^]. And this same is 
testified by his host, Eilbrict (W., " Ailbricht ") by name, in 
whose house he was afterwards received — namely that he was 
entirely without eyes and testicles when first he was received 
in his house. And afterwards, invoking oftentimes the merits 
of St. Thomas the Martyr, by an apparition of the aforesaid 
Martyr he was gloriously and wonderfully restored to health." "^ 

" Sciat conventus Cantuariensis, necnon et omnes catholici, Deum in Bede- 
fordia mirabile et insigne miraculum propter merita sanctissimi Thomae martyris 
operatum fuisse. Accidit enim quod quidam rusticus de Westonia, Eilwardus 
nomine, pro quodam furto, pretii unius nummi tantum, captus et ante vice- 
comitem de Bedefordia et ante milites comitatus ductus, et ab eis in publico con- 
demnatus, extra villam Bedefordensem oculos et pendentia, astantibus clericis et 
laicis et mulieribus, araisit. Quod etiam testatur capellanus de sancto Johanne 
de Bedefordia, cui praedictus rusticus [post mutilationem*] confessus est. Et hoc 
idem testatur hospes ejus, Eilbrictus nomine, apud quem postea hospitatus fuit, 
quod oculis et testiculis, quando primo apud eum hospitatus fuit, omnino caruit ; 
qui p)ostea, saepius invocans merita sancti Thomae martyris, gloriose et mirifice 
apparitione praedicti martyris sanitati restitutus est."' 

is the Editor's error). B. has "Sciat conventus Cantuariensis"; W., "Sicut 
universitas conventus Cantuariae." Also B. has "Bedefordia " ; W., " Bedeford." 

*> William omits the bracketed words. 

* Benedict adds a lengthy comment on the novelty of this miracle, and the 
circumstances precluding deception or collusion, etc., especially emphasizing the 
fact that Eilward was mutilated by his enemies, who would not have spared him. 

§713 HIS MIRACLES 103 

[712] (ii.) A second miracle of the same kind is described 
by William alone in an attesting letter from Hugh de Puiset, 
Bishop of Durham, who says that it happened in Durham, in 
December, 1 1 74. On the 1 7th of September in that year, 
" one Roger, a simpleton,^ having pleaded guilty, underwent 
mutilation of the eyes and genitalia as the penalty of theft ; 
and the parts extracted are known to have been buried in 
the ground, in the presence of many eye-witnesses, according 
to custom." After being kept some weeks in the Bishop's 
hospital, he had to leave and beg his bread ; so that his 
blindness was well known in Durham. On the eve of St. 
Thomas the Apostle, in answer to the poor man's repeated 
supplications, the Martyr appeared, clothed in red, and in a 
comely mitre," and bearing three tapers in his hand, and say- 
ing that he had come to assuage his pain. Departing, after 
bestowing his blessing, the Saint left the man so endowed 
with supernatural light that, " although others in the house 
said nothing, he bade his hostess — who had hastily risen [from 
bed] to seize him, thinking him to be mad — fasten to her 
dress a needle (hanging from her bosom) for fear of losing 
it." Roger, called before the Bishop and Chapter of 
Durham, was found to have eyes, new but as yet of moderate 
size. Evidence on oath was received from him, from the 
executioners, and from the witnesses of the mutilation. The 
bells were set ringing, and a thanksgiving was celebrated. 

[713] After giving the Bishop's letter in full, William 
says that, on the day when Roger came to the Cathedral, it 
happened that the knight who had sentenced him came also 
thither, not to testify, but to pray. On finding Roger there, 
Sir Richard of the Prickly Thistle, for that was his name, 
assured all the people that it was of the Martyr's grace, and 
not for any fault of the judges, that this miracle had been 

' " hominem simplicissimum." The judge says that (i. 423) he could not 
induce the man to plead not guilty. 

2 [712a] •• In red, and mitred " : see 698<7. 


worked. " Before sentence was passed on him," said the 
knight, " I asked him whether he had ever eaten of the 
flesh,^ wishing him to deny it. But, whether because he 
was simple, or because the Martyr was destined to be 
glorified in him, the man could not be driven to a denial." 
He concluded by offering to swear that he had seen Roger 
with eyes different from those which he now had. 

(iii.) A third miracle is recorded by Benedict alone 
(ii. 250-1). It deserves exact and full quotation, as the 
monks of Canterbury, in this case, sent a special messenger 
to ascertain the facts. 

[714] " We also heard that a wonderful thing had 
happened in the town of Corbie, viz. that, by the aid of the 
blessed and glorious Martyr, a man had recovered his eyes 
after they had been gouged out. But, on sending a messenger 
thither, we heard that they had not been gouged out, but 
severely wounded with a sharp knife : for the executioner, 
when he found it very troublesome to extract them, being 
very angry, drew a sharp-pointed knife and pierced the eyes 
again and again with such cruelty that all thought it worse 
to have them thus wounded than [actually] extracted : they 
said he must be a thorough villain to murder the poor 
fellow in that way instead of blinding him." After ascer- 
taining the facts from the men of the town who saw them 
with their eyes, our messenger, being unable to find at his 
residence the Abbot of Corbie to whom we had written 

[714] Mirum quid etiam audivimus contigisse in villa Qjrbeiae ; hominem 
effossos oculos per beatum et gloriosum martyrem recuperasse. Misso autem 
illuc nuntio, non effossos sed cultello acuto graviter sauciatos audivimus ; tortor 
enim, cum in iis eruendis laboraret, iratus valde cultellum acuta cuspide extraxit, 
et oculis totiens totiensque crudeliter infixit, ut gravius esse arbitrarentur omnes 
sic eos esse vulneratos quam erutos. Grandis eum arguebant impietatis, qui 
hominem occideret potius quam excaecaret. Nuntius itaque noster, per ejusdem 
villae homines, qui haec oculis conspexerunt, cognita veritate, cum abbatem 

' "Cane" should surely be "carne." See the same error above (361). 
Possibly it was a case of stealing flesh. 

§715 HIS MIRACLES 105 

concerning an investigation into this great miracle, brought 
back to us a letter of testimony from the Prior and convent, 
with contents to this tenor : 

[715] " To the venerable lord Odo, by the grace of God 
Prior of the church of Canterbury, A.,^ called Prior of the 
Church of Corbie, and the convent, [send] health and respect. 

" On the points about which you thought worthy 
to inquire by letter from us we write in return to you as 
follows. A young man named John, native of Valenciennes, 
was found in our town and proved [to have been engaged] 
in theft, and, in accordance with the decree of secular law, 
was adjudged to be hanged. And when he had been 
dragged to the punishment of terrible death, it pleased our 
burgesses that he should be only deprived of his eyes, and 
thus let go : and presently he was blinded and severely 
wounded in the eyes ; and so he was led to the infirmary, 
and received by Ralph the head of the hospital, who, for 
compassion's sake, washed his blinded eyes with hot water, 
that night and the next, and poulticed them to assuage the 
pain. But on the third day, when Ralph anxiously in- 
quired of him whether he had still open any inlet of light, 

Corbeiensis ecclesiae, cui super tanti inquisitione miraculi scripseramus, domi 
non invenisset, a priore conventuque litteras nobis testimonii reportavit, in hunc 
modum continentes. 

[715] " Domino et venerabili Odoni, Dei gratia priori Gintuariensis ecclesiae, 
A.,' dictus prior Corbeiensis ecclesiae, et conventus, salutem et obsequium. 

" Super his, quae per literas vestras dignum duxistis a nobis inquirere, talia 
vobis rescripsimus. Quidam juvenis, Joannes nomine, ortus de castro quod 
dicitur Valentianas, in oppido nostro repertus et probatus est in furto, ac juxta 
legis mundanae decretum adjudicatus suspendio. Cumque ad horrendae mortis 
supplicium traheretur, placuit burgensibus nostris ut oculis tantummodo privaretur, 
et ita dimitteretur ; moxque caecatus est et graviter in oculis sauciatus ; sicque 
ductus est ad domum debilium, et ab hospitario receptus, qui vocatur Radulfus ; 
qui caccata ipsius lumina ea et sequenti nocte aqua calida lavit, intuitu misera- 
tionis, et refovit, pro doloribus scilicet mitigandis. Die vero tertia, dum ab eo 
soUicitc percunctaretur, utrum ei jx)st excaecationem suam extremae saltern 

* It is not uncommon for letters of this kind to contain in their superscription 
merely the initial of the name of the addresser. 


even the slightest, he replied that in one of his eyes there 
was no light at all left, but in the other a very little bright- 
ness found admission, but in such slight measure that with- 
out a guide he could in no wise keep a straight path. 

[716] " Meanwhile there came in a young poor clerk, who 
declared that he had in a glass vessel some of the very 
water of our most blessed Patron and Martyr, Thomas, 
glorified in these our days by God, by which, as almost all 
men know, many miracles have been wrought. So they took 
a little of this Water, and then, after reverently lighting 
tapers in honour of the Martyr, they carefully and thoroughly 
bathed the eyes therewith. But he received sight on the 
spot, so that even the scars of the very wounds that he had 
received when he was being blinded, were now healed. 
Next day, healed and happy, he returned to his home. 

[717] "And, lest on these matters there should be some 
lingering doubt in the bottom of your hearts, we testify to 
you that one of our own brethren, drinking of that same 
Water, was delivered from a running at the nose." 

[718] The third miracle throws light on the first two. 
It shews that (i) in the process of judicially blinding, it 
was possible to blind for the time, yet in such a way that 
the blinded man could recover ; (2) this was a fact so well 

visionis aditus patuisset, respondit in uno quidem oculorum suorum nihil penitus 
luminis remansisse ; in altero vero parum quid claritatis admitti, sed tarn modicae 
quantitatis, qua sine ductore nuUatenus posset calle recti itineris incedere. 

[716] " Affuit ibidem interea quidam puer clericus pauper, qui de ipsa aqua 
beatissimi patroni nostri et nostro tempore a Deo glorificati martyris Thomae, 
archiepiscopi Cantuariensis, in vitreo vase se ferre confessus est, qua plerique 
noverant facta fuisse crebra miracula. Acceperunt igitur illius aquae modicum, 
et ob honorem memorati martyris luminaribus reverenter accensis, oculos prae- 
dicti caeci ex ea diligenter abluere curaverunt. At ille visum illico recuperavit, 
adeo ut ipsorum etiam vulnerum vestigia sanarentur, quae inflicta fuerant ei dum 
excaecaretur. Postera autem die sanus et gaudens ad propria recessit. 

[717] " Et, ne super his aliqua in vestro corde resideat cunctatio, testamur 
vobis quod quidam de fratribus nostris ex ipsa aqua bibens liberatus est a narium 
profluvio. " 

§720 HIS MIRACLES 107 

known to Ralph, the head of the Infirmary at Corbie, that 
he " anxiously asked " John whether he had any sight still 
remaining — whereas no one would ask of a man whose leg or 
arm had been cut off, " Have you any vestige of your arm or 
leg?"; (3) this temporary but not complete blinding was com- 
patible with atrocious cruelty on the part of the executioner. 

[719] This last fact partly meets Benedict's argument 
that Eilward must have been effectually blinded because he 
was blinded by his enemies. The answer is, that their very 
cruelty may have led them unwittingly to save their victim's 
sight by lacerating his eyes instead of extracting them. 
And indeed Benedict himself tells us that one of the eyes 
was not regularly extracted, but " chopped in pieces." It is 
true, he adds that the fragments were afterwards buried : but, 
in the flow of blood, in the excitement and haste of the re- 
volting process, and (not improbably) amid the murmurs from 
an angry crowd of spectators, it is not difficult to perceive 
that one of Eilward's eyes may not have been extracted. 
There is nothing in Benedict's description of the evidence 
as to sight regained to shew that he saw with both eyes. 

[720] Benedict alone has preserved the facts that give 
an apparent clue to an explanation of this alleged miracle 
from natural causes. William's narrative appears to be 
either a condensation of Benedict's, or a shorter account 
written on the basis of the same notes (kept in the Cathedral) 
which Benedict had used. In any case William probably 
had Benedict's narrative before him, correcting errors in it, 
and inserting explanations or new facts necessary for clear- 
ness (see footnotes 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 12). As regards the 
shorter utterances of the characters in the drama, and 
especially those of St. Thomas, the two are in considerable 
agreement. But as regards the facts, William, while toning 
down the resentment against the judges, and laying most of 
the blame on the two Fulks, subordinates sentiment and 
pathos to proof of miracle. 




§ 3. The ship that 
[721] Benedict (ii. 212-3) 

A man named Ailwin 
from Bristol brought a gold 
piece as an offering to the 
Martyr and went away. The 
monk that was sitting at the 
tomb, noting that the gift 
was very large for one so 
poor (for he was but meanly 
clad), called him back and 
questioned him. " I vowed 
this to the Martyr," he replied, 
" and now I have paid it. 
Sailing of late from Ireland, 
my ship fell on a quicksand. 
The more we toiled to get 
her off, the more the sand 

came back by herself 

William (i. 301-2) 

Some sailors from Ireland 
fell on a sand called Colre- 
sand/ and there stuck fast. 
What was to be done ? The 
ship was heavy laden with 
hides and bound for her 
customary port enriched to 
her own loss. What was 
to be done ? \He proceeds to 
quote Lucan ix. 335-9,i"/z^/i!^6' 
altered?^ The wretched 
sailors, seeing inevitable 
shipwreck before them (for 
as the tide went down the 
sand came up and the prow 
plunged deeper and deeper 

Ex oblatione viri alterius inusitatum 
et magnae pietatis apprehendimus 
miraculum. Venit enim vir unus de 
Bristo ad marlyrem, nomine Ailwinus, 
qui aureum obtulit et recessit. Quum- 
que intueretur monachus, qui ad 
tumbam residebat, quod oblatio ejus 
longe discordaret ab habitu (erat enim 
homo habitus valde abjecti), revocatum 
interrogavit quare pauper aureum sancto 
praesentasset ? " Votum,"inquit, "vovi 
martyri et reddidi : dum enim nuper ab 
Hibemia navigarem, navis mea in 
sabulum incidit vivum, et in sabulo fixa 
consedit. Quanto vero amplius labora- 

Navigantes quidam de Hybemia in 
sabulum quod nautae Colresand ' appel- 
lant inciderunt, et stetit navis fixa in 
vado, velo suspense. Quid faciat ? 
Deprimit earn onus suum ; nam coriis 
et aliis rebus venalibus onerata, et dives 
damno suo, ad navale solitum redibat. 
Quid faciat ? 

" Obvia consurgit tellus 

. . . atque interrupta profundo 
Terra ferit proram, dubioque obnoxia 


Pars sedet una ratis, pars altera 

pendet in undis." 

Videntes igitur miseri nautae sibi nau- 

fragium irremediabiliter imminere (nam 

refluente mari succrescebat arena, et 

1 Perhaps an attempt to express 
the English " quicksand." 




Benedict (ii. 212-3) 

sucked her in. The water 
had well-nigh covered the 
deck when we leapt into the 
boat to save our lives ; for 
we had given up all hope of 
the vessel. Then said I, ' O 
Thomas, Martyr of God, if 
thou hast any power with 
God, and didst ever work 
miracle, give me back my 
ship. Then will I visit thy 
tomb and offer a gold piece.' 
" So we let the ship shift 
for herself and rowed for the 
shore. We got about eight 
furlongs from her : but after 
rowing some while longer, 
the ship was still as near 
as ever. We cheered one 

William (i. 301-2) 
into it), leapt into their 
pinnace to save their lives, 
leaving their ship and sub- 
stance to the care of Thomas. 
When they had fled a 
long way from the ship, the 
ship (an unprecedented 
novelty !) began to follow 
the fugitives, and on she 
came approaching them with- 
out crew of human kind. 
But meanwhile their eyes 
were holden, that they should 
not recognize in the coming 
vessel the one that they had 
left sinking in the shallows. 
They beheld the sail set and 
the substance they had left 
behind them, but knew not 

bamus ut de periculo instanti ejiceretur, 
tanto earn absorbebat arena. Jam fere 
usque ad supremum tabulatum videbatur 
submergi, quum desperantes omnes in 
cymbam parvam desilivimus, saltern 
vitae nostrae volentes esse consultum ; 
nam de navis vel rerum nostrarum 
recuperatione spes nulla supererat. 
Tunc ego, ' Martyr Dei Thoma, si 
cujus meriti es apud Deum, si quid 
potes, si miraculum aliquod unquam 
fecisti, navcm meam mihi restitue. 
Scpulchrum tuum visitabo, si feceris, 
aureum tibi oblaturus.' Navi itaque 
dimissa navigavimus in navicula ut 
evaderemus ad terram, et quasi stadiis 
octo a navi elongati sumus ; cumque 
diutius in remigando vexaremur, a navi 
semper aeque distare videbamur. Hor- 

magis magisque illidebatur prora), 
exsilierunt in scapham, salvantes 
animas suas, navi rebusque derelictis, 
martyri Thomae custodiam delegantes. 
Cumque procul a navi fugissent, navis 
inaudita novitate fugientes subseque- 
batur, et sine humano remige ferebatur 
appropinqnans. Oculi autem eorum 
interim tenebantur, ne agnoscerent 
venientem quam reliquerant vadis 
insidentem. Velum suspensum et 
sua quae dimiserant aspiciebant, sed 




Benedict (ii. 212-3) 

another on to row our hard- 
est, but the more we rowed 
the closer came we to the 
ship. So we gave it up and 
waited a little : and behold, 
the vessel that we had left — 
sails set, and well-nigh sunk 
— we now beheld bearing 
down on us. When she 
came up, we welcomed her 
as God's own gift. On board 
we went, and reached home 
after a prosperous voyage. 
This was the cause why I 
came on my pilgrimage to 
the Martyr and offered him 
the gold piece." 

He had no witnesses. 
But we believed his story on 
the strength of his simplicity 
and the rich offering from 
one so poorly clad. 

William (i. 301-2) 
as yet that it was theirs : for 
they had no hope that 
what had been taken away 
was now taken to them. 
So they hailed the vessel 
and asked who were on 
board and whence and 
whither they were bound, 
and there was none to answer. 
However, the Guardian to 
whose care they had en- 
trusted the vessel opened 
their eyes. It was by his 
powerful hand that she was 
extricated from the Syrtes, 
and by his steering that she 
was borne after her former 
crew. So when they recog- 
nized their own ship they 
leaped on board and returned 
with prosperous course to 
the town of Bristol whence 
they had come. 

tabamur ergo nos invicem ad laborem, 
sed quanto amplius navigavimus, tanto 
ad navem accessimus. Cessantes tandem 
ab inani labore, modicum exspectavi- 
mus, et ecce, navem, quam velo 
expanso et fere absorptam reliqueramus, 
absque rectore venientem advertimus ; 
venientem quasi a Deo oblatam nobis 
recepimus. Ascendimus ; prospere 
absque damno applicuimus. Hac de 
causa martyrem visitavi, aureum obtuli." 
Haec cum dixisset, licet testibus careret, 
credidimus ei, ex simplicitate ipsius, et 
oblatione vestibus ejus male respon- 
dente, veritatis argumentum trahentes. 

sua esse nondum advertebant ; non 
enim ablata sperabant oblata. Unde 
acclamantes interrogabant quinam intus 
essent, quo et unde vectarentur ; et 
non erat qui responderet. Aperuit 
autem oculos eorum custos navi 
delegatus ; cujus impulsu a Sirtibus 
eruebatur, cujus et regimine post 
remigem suum ferebatur. Igitur 
navim suam recognitam insilientes 
prospero cursu ad vicum Bristov, unde 
venerant, revecti sunt. 




In this story, Benedict has preserved the mariner's simple tale, 
while William has adorned it with a quotation from Lucan, and 
with remarks of his own, increasing the miraculousness by repre- 
senting the mariners as losing sight of the ship, so that, when she 
returns, they mistake her for a strange vessel. 

§ 4. Hoiv St. Thomas pushed a ship off a shoal 

[722] Benedict (ii. 214) 

For this cause we deemed 
him \i.e. the above-mentioned 
Ailwin] no less worthy of 
credit than three others who 
testified to a miracle no less 
wonderful. For they affirmed 
that they, too, had been on 
board a ship that had fallen 
into the same danger as his. 
In fear of death, they all 
cried to the Saint, and knelt 
down on the deck, and said 
the Lord's prayer. Then 
the man [of God] visibly 
appeared to them in glisten- 
ing white garments, and 
walking on the rolling waves. 

William (i. 302-3) 

There had gone forth 
into the deep other sailors, 
drawn to their fate by love 
of gain, and by desire to 
catch herrings, and by the 
flattery of calm weather — and 
destined to have been drawn 
on to utter destruction had 
not their perishing lives 
been preserved by Him who 
willeth not the death of a 
sinner. For while they are 
catching fish they are them- 
selves unwittingly caught ; 
and while they fix their eyes 
on their prey, under the 
guidance of greediness, they 

Unde nee minus ei credendum esse 
censuimus, quam aliis tribus, qui signi 
non minoris dederunt testimonium. 
Aiebant namque et se in navi exstitisse, 
quae per noctem in simile devenit 
periculum ; cumque omnes metu mortis 
ad sanctum clamassent, et flexis in 
navi genibus Dominicam dixissent 
orationem, apparuisse illis hominem 
visibiliter in vestibus candidis, et super 
mobiles ambulasse maris undas. Qui, 

Exierant in altum alii nautae, quos 
amor lucri et allecis capicndi cupido, 
tempusque serenum, quod blandiebatur, 
in fata trahebant, et usque in exitium 
pertraxissent, nisi Qui non vult mortem 
j^eccatoris vitam pereuntium servasset. 
Nam dum pisces inescant, imprudentes 
inescantur, dumque praedae inhiant, 
praevia ducc aviditate, vadis insident et 



Benedict (ii. 214) 
Catching the ship by the 
prow, he drove her far on 
into the deep, so that the 
noise of her rush could be 
heard a great way off: and 
then he vanished away from 
their eyes. The three worthy 
men above mentioned stood 
forward as witnesses of this ; 
and they were also prepared 
to lay their hand on the 
sacred elements and to certify 
us that they stood at that 
instant on the vessel and saw 
with their own eyes that 
figure through the shades [of 

William (i. 302-3) 

settle down on a shoal and 
sink till the water almost 
reaches the deck. Earth 
and sea were so confused 
that the nature of the ele- 
ments could not be dis- 
tinguished, and, as the poet 
describes [here he quotes 
Lucariy Pharsalia, ix. 30 5 -9]. 
So the ship stood, pro- 
jecting only with her stern, 
and with her prow on the 
point of going down under 
the water to meet the sea as 
it came up. As the wretched 
skippers ^ made diverse vows 
in accordance with their 

apprehensa navis prora, navem longius 
in profiindum impegit, ita ut sonus 
fluctuum ejus longe valde posset audiri, 
et ipse evanuit ab oculis eorum. Hujus 
rei testes astiterunt tres viri praedicti, 
parati etiam, tactis sacrosanctis, nos 
certificare quod in navi eadem tunc 
exstiterint, et oculis suis personam 
illam per umbras conspexerint. 

usque ad foros ferme immerguntur. 
Erat autem terra pelago commixta, ut 
elementarum natura discemi non posset, 
et, sicut poeta describit, 

Turn " neque subsedit penitus, quo 

stagna profundi 
Acciperet, nee se defendit ab aequore 

Ambigua sed lege loci jacet invia 

sedes ; 
Aequora fracta vadis, abruptaque 

terra profundo, 
Et post multa sonant projecti littora 
Stetit igitur carina, puppi duntaxat 
exstans, et prora ad ascensionem maris 
descensura sub undas. Miseris nau- 
cleris ' diversa voventibus pro diversitate 

' [722fl] "Naucleris." William is 
fond of using Greek terms, not always 
intelligently (611a). 

1^723 HIS MIRACLES 113 

William (i. 302-3) 

diverse minds, and at last 
called to mind the last of 
the Martyrs, the man of 
God, compassionating their 
affliction, deigned to exhibit 
himself visibly. And walk- 
ing on the waters, he seized 
the ship by the figurehead 
and drove her back into the 
waves : and she brought her 
crew prosperously into port. 

William, while again adorning his story with quotations and 
plays on words, makes a mistake by representing St. Thomas as 
pushing the vessel back, instead of driving her on. But " reppulit 
in fluctus " is probably a quotation, and to this William sacrificed 
truth of fact. 

§ 5 . Recovery of anchors 

[723] Benedict (ii. 215) William (i. 300-1) 

Eilwecher ^ of Dover was One Girard of Dover, 

sailing to lesser Britain. A while sailing the ocean, let 

storm arose and he cast out down an anchor on the rising 

animorum, novique martyris novissime 
reminiscentibus, dignatus est vir Dei 
, miseratus afflictos se visibiliter e.\hibere. 

Ambulansque super aquas, arreptam a 
rostro navem repulit in fluctus, quae 
fclici navigio nautas suos produxit ad 

Na^'igabat in Britanniam minorem DovrensisquidamGirardusoceanum 

Eilwecher • Dovrensis, et orta tempe- navigans orta tempestate a navi 

• Al. Eiiweker, or Ejuneker. The 
last reading suggests a corruption of 
'* cin junker." William has " Girard." 




Benedict (ii. 215) 
three anchors, but lost all 
of them through the cables 
breaking. However, he came 
safe to land, after invoking 
the Martyr. On the return 
of fair weather he returned 
with his companions to the 
sea to seek the anchors ; for 
the place where he had lost 
them was not far from the 
land. For three days they 
sought and found nothing. 
So said one of them, " Let us 
promise also^ to the Martyr 
of Canterbury a waxen 
anchor that he may give us 
back our iron ones." All 

William (i. 300-1) 
of a storm. Wishing to draw 
it up again, two of the sailors, 
in the usual way, stood in 
the prow and tried to haul in 
the rope ; and they could not 
wrench up a certain barbed 
hook,^ until they all pulled 
together. None the less, in 
spite of it all, their efforts 
were vain and they gave it 
up. So, in the last resort, 
they tried what sailors call a 
" windas," ^ . . . But still the 
tenacious hook felt not the 
hands of the panting [men]. 
So being deserted by human 
aid, they seek divine, saying, 

state tres anchoras emisit, quas et 
funibus ruptis omnes amisit ; ad terram 
tamen evasit, invocato martyre. Red- 
eunte serenitate rediit cum sociis suis 
in mare anchoras quaesiturus, eo quod 
locus, ubi eas amiserat, non longa (su) a 
terra distabat. Tribus diebus quaesitum 
est, et nihil inventum. Ait ergo unus 
ex ipsis, " Promittamus et martyri^ 
Cantuariensi anchoram ceream, ut 
ferreas nostras nobis restituat." Con- 

anchoram demisit. Quam cum vellet 
reducere, duo ex nautis, sicut moris est, 
stantes in prora attrahebant funem, et 
non poterantuncum quendam mordacem 
avellere.i donee omnes conatum suum 
communicarent. Nihilominus tamen 
omnes casso conatu defecerunt. Unde 
ad ultimum refugium confugientes ligno 
quod nautae windasium vocant caput 
rudentis circumposuere, ut suffragante 
ligno conatus efficacior esset.^ Est 

* •' Et martyri." The meaning 
may be that they had already made 
vows to other Saints. 

' "Non poterant M«rM/« quendam 
mordacem avellere." William, who is 
fond of technical terms, not knowing 
the word here, substitutes the italicized 
phrase. Note below, his introduction 
of the term "windasium," the "windas" 
of Chaucer, C. T. 10498 (see Skeat, 
Etymolog. Diet.). 

2 Here William gives a long descrip- 
tion of a " windas." 




Benedict (ii. 215) 

agreed : and straightway 
letting down into the water 
the instrument with which 
they were searching the 
bottom, they drew out all the 
anchors. So they turned 
back to England and came 
to the Martyr. They brought 
to him the gift they had 

William (i. 300-1) 

" Restore, O Thomas, genuine 
martyr, powerful over land 
and sea, what our frailty 
cannot [restore]. Loose the 
cable,^ preserve our ship from 
damage, . . . We promise a 
visit to thy memorial and a 
waxen model of our iron 
implement. Restore the 
instrument by which we are 
detained." So approach- 
ing [the task, or the place], 

senserunt omnes ; statimque demisso in 
aquam instruniento, quo maris fundum 
scnitabantur, omnes anchoras ex- 
traxerunt. Reversi itaque in Angliam 
venerunt ad martyrem ; munus attule- 
runt quod promiserant. 

autem lignum ex transverse puppis 
positum, et ex latere perforatum, cujus 
usus est in majoribus navibus ad sus- 
pendendum velum. Nam foraminibus 
immittuntur radii, et quod non potest 
per se vis humana, potest innitens 
radiis ; dum enim circumducitur lignum 
funibus circumvolutum, provenit ex 
ligno facile suffragium. Sed nondum 
tenax uncus sensit anhelantium manus. 
Igitur humano adminiculo destituti 
petunt divinum, dicentes, " Redde, vere 
martyr Thoma, potens maris et terrae, 
quod non potest infirmitas nostra. 
Retinacula solve ; ^ conserva navem 
indemnem. Scimus quoniam bonorum 
nostrorum non eges, vis tamen tibi 
reverentiam exhiberi, vis mortalium 
devotionem votis et precibus augeri. 
Unde memoriam tuam visitaturi pro 
ferreo armamento ejusdem formae ceram 
promittimus. Redde quo retinemur 

3 •' Retinacula." What the sailors 
really wanted was the loosing of 
the anchor : but " loose the caile " 
is Virgilian, and this suffices for 


William (i. 300-1) 

after the fulfilment of their vow," they easily got back the 

But they, going forth again,^ cast forth two anchors 
in different places,^ with the one that had been restored 
to them ; and thus they tossed about, kept where they 
were by their hold on the bottom. After a short time, 
they stood again near the prow to recal that anchor 
which they had recovered by the gift of heaven. And 
behold, pulling in the cable broken, they began to cry 
aloud, " Martyr Thomas, wherefore have we lost that 
which through thee we recovered? Restore that which 
thou restoredst ! We, too, will render that which we 

Well, they had given up hope of regaining it. But 
by the providence of the Martyr, beyond hope, that 
which they had lost was returned. For in the act of haul- 
ing up the other anchors they recovered also that which 
was the object of their solicitations. A fragment of the 
cable of the lost anchor had stuck fast, having been 
fastened in a celestial knot with the cables of the other 

instrumentum." Voto igitur expleto* accedentes, levi conatu uncum recepe- 

Procedentes autem rursus ^ duas anchoras diversis locis*' cum ea quae 
restituta fuerat projecerunt, et fluctuabant ab imo retenti. Post tempus iterum 
modicum stabant ad proram revocaturi anchoram quam divino munere receperant. 
Et ecce ruptum legentes rudentem clamare coeperunt, " Martyr Thoma, quare 
perdidimus quod per te recepimus ? Redde quod reddidisti ; reddemus et nos 
quod promisimus. " Igitur a spe recuperationis exciderant ; sed procurante 
martyre praeter spem restituitur quod amiserant. Nam dum alias anchoras 
reducunt, et eam de qua solliciti erant recipiunt. Adhaeserat namque fragmen- 

* That is, they first went to Canterbury and "fulfilled" their vow, and then 
" approached " the place of the lost anchor and recovered it. 

" The ambiguous English expresses the original, in which, ( i ) " procedentes " 
may mean " proceding from that place, or out to sea," and (2) "again" may refer 
to "proceeding," or to "casting." 

* "In, or from, different places (of the vessel)." See remarks below. 

§726 HIS MIRACLES 117 

William (i. 300-1) 

two, SO that the ship was preserved from damage and 
the Martyr was manifested to have power in the waters. 

[724] The two narratives agree enough to make it pretty 
certain that both refer to the same event. It is impossible 
to explain their divergence with certainty, but there are good 
grounds for conjecturing that William, in the attempt to 
improve, has corrupted, Benedict's story. 

According to Benedict, the facts are these. Three 
anchors were thrown out in a storm ; the three cables broke ; 
and the men, after invoking St. Thomas [to save their lives], 
got safe to land. Benedict does not add, but he almost 
certainly assumes, that the invocation was accompanied by a 
promise of a pilgrimage and an offering. This promise may 
be supposed to be now paid. Afterwards, fair weather 
having set in, they return to seek their anchors. They fail 
till they promise a waxen anchor to the Martyr. Then they 

[725] This being, probably, the true tale, William finds 
it unsatisfactory on the following grounds : " If three anchors 
were lost, three anchors of wax ought to have been vowed. 
But we know that only o^ie anchor was offered. It follows 
that only one anchor was lost" 

[726] " But," says an objecting monk, with the Canter- 
bury notes in his hand, " was there not something said by the 
pilgrims about three anchors ? " William replies, by resorting 
to the common subterfuge of Harmonizing Apologists, " There 
were two voyages. In the first voyage, one anchor was lost, 
and one waxen anchor vowed ; and, after the vow had been 
paid, that anchor was recovered. Then came a second 
voyage, which has been erroneously regarded by my pre- 
decessor Benedict as a mere expedition to search for lost 

turn funis amissae anchorae, funibus alianitn coelesti nodo colligatum, ut et puppis 
servaretur indemnis, et martyr potens ostenderetur in undis. 


anchors. In this voyage, they took with them the recovered 
anchor, and two others. When a storm came on, they cast 
out the first at the prow (ad proram). Now if they had cast 
out the others ' at the prow,' there would have been no great 
miracle in the recovery of tJie three together. Therefore mark 
that the two others were cast out at different places [of the 
vessel] (diversis locis). 

"In hauUng up the anchor at the prow, the cable snapped 
again. Again they prayed to St. Thomas. At first, it 
seemed as though their prayer was unheard : but presently, 
in hauling up the two others, they hauled up the first also, 
which, in spite of its distance from the others ^ had been en- 
tangled with the others — clearly the result of ' a celestial 
knot,' entwined by the hand of the Martyr ! Thus you are 
right in saying that there was ' something about three 
anchors ' ; but three anchors were not recovered. Three 
anchors were hauled in, and, of these, one was recovered for 
the second time." 

William's story appears to exemplify, ist, the Fallacy of 
Duplication, 2nd, the Fallacy of Improvement, or, the Fitness 
of Things (365-8, 379). 

§ 6. How the son of Yngelrann of Golton was visited 
with paralysis by the Martyr and then healed 

[727] Benedict (ii. 219-20) William (i. 195-8) 

(i) Benedict omits this. (i) One Stephen^ had 

made a feast for a rich man 

(i) om. (l) Stephanus quidam ' de villa 

Huerveltuna fecerat diviti cuidam con- 

1 "De villa Huerveltuna": Ed. 
adds, " This place appears from the 
sequel to have been at some distance 
from Canterbury so that it cannot be 
identified with Harbledown. Possibly 

^727 HIS MIRACLES 119 

William (i. 195-8) 

named Robert While the latter was seated at meat 
with Stephen, Hugh of Morville, one of the Martyr's 
murderers, who knew him, demanded a visit from his 
old friend,^ naming time and place. Robert, much dis- 
turbed, and unwilling to consort with the murderer,^ 
was persuaded to accept the invitation by the mother of 
the family, who (seeing her guest's dejection) scoffed at 
the Martyr and bade Robert go and feast and make merry 
with Hugh of Morville. 

As time went on, this woman's husband [Stephen], 

\-iviuin. Apud quern dum dives ille pranderet, Robertus nomine, misit ad 
eum* Hugo de Morvilla, dicens in haec verba: " Miror super dilectione 
mutua veterique societate nostra, quae sic de facUi tepuit ut multo tempore 
non videris faciem meam. Mando igitur ut te mihi locuturum exhibeas " ; 
locumque constituit et tempus praefixit. Hoc audito mandate concidit vultus 
ejus, et non bibit neque manducavit, revocans ad animum atrox et immane 
flagitium quod perpetraverat, declinansque, sicut decet Christianum, detestabile 
consortium, quod vel solo colloquio praecisionis ecclesiasticae maculam aspergit.^ 
Quid, nostri infamia saeculi, candidatorum petis colloquium ? Quid, civis 
Babyloniae confusionis, gregem dominicum contaminas ? Nescis quia 

" Grex totus in agris 
Unius scabie cadit et porrigine porci ? " 

Materfamilias vero, videns hospitis sui tristitiam, ait ei, "Quae cura si mortuus 
est presbyter ille Thomas ? Quis inde moveatur ? Supra modum clerus 
dominabatur, in tantam prorumpens arrogantiam ut etiam principum colla 
suppeditare tentaret. Regemne putavit inquietare et subjugare ? Epulare, 
precor, et laetare." His et hujusmodi verbis illota delirabat. 

Procedente tempore, vir ejus de consuetudine saeculari ad saecularia 

Warbleton in Sussex." But, if this story refers to the same facts as Benedict's, 
may not " Huervellona " be a corruption of " Goltona " 727 {2) ? 

This section, though full of unnecessary details, has some value in placing 
before the reader the causes that may have led the man and his wife to talk about 
propitiating the Martyr. 

* What follows indicates that it is Robert (not Stephen) who is thus invited. 

3 William intervenes with an apostrophe ("Why, O infamy of our age, dost 
thou seek colloquy with those who are in white robes ? Why, O citizen of the 
shameful Babylon, . . . ,") concluded by a quotation from Juvenal, S<U. ii. 79, 
So, that one pig may infect a herd. 



Benedict (ii. 219-20) 

(2) At the time when 
crowds began to rush, and 
folk from the cities to hasten, 
towards the tomb of our 
Martyr, the same desire came 
into the mind of the wife 
of Yngelrann ^ of Golton, a 
knight of Yorkshire, which 

William (i. 195-8) 

in the course of his occupa- 
tion,* heard a good deal 
about the mighty works of 
healing performed by the 
Martyr's merits. So on 
returning home he related 
what he had heard, and 
added that he wished to 
visit the Martyr's tomb. 

(2) The mother and the 
elder son conceived the same 
desire. " I have no need of 
it," said the younger, " for I 
am neither dumb, nor lame, 
nor suffering from any in- 
firmity." But it came to 
pass that, while he was giving 

(2) Cum turbae multae irruerent ad 
martyrem nostrum et de civitatibus 
properarent ad eum, incidit in mentem 
uxoris Yngelranni * de Goltona, militis 

negotia profectus* audivit multa dici 
^de illuminatione caecorum, auditu sur- 
dorum, mundatione leprosorum, caete- 
risque magnalibus quae meritis beati 
martyris Dominus operari dignatus est ; 
rediensque domum narravit quae 
audierat et vulgo dicebantur, et adjecit 
se velle visitare sepulchrum martyris. 

(2) Capitur eadem voluntate mater- 
familias et filius ejus major natu. 
" Non," inquit minor, "necesse habeo 
ire, quia neque mutus neque claudus 
sum, neque corporis alio detineor in- 
commode." Factum est autem, dum 

' The Editor has " Ingelram." 
This somewhat resembles the son's 
name as spelt by William in (7) 
below, " Engelram." But see note 
there. The text has " Yngelranni " as 
the genitive. Golton (Ed.) is in 

■* "De consuetudine saeculari ad 
saecularia negotia profectus. " Perhaps 
the object of this addition is to shew 
that the Martyr's miracles were now 
so famous that even a man of the 
world could not fail to hear about 




Benedict (iL 219-20) 
she also intimated to her 
lord, adding, " Let us also 
take our son." The boy, 
who stood listening to his 
parents, replied, " I am whole 
and healthy ; what should I 
have to do with the Martyr ? " 
The father raised his hand 
to chastise the boy for his 
foolish answer ; but he es- 
caped, and went away, and 
gave his time to scholar's 
tasks, recking naught of the 
sin of his mouth. And on 
that night his arm was made 
as if dead, and quite in- 
sensible, so that it could not 
feel fire placed near, or knife 
placed on it : for it was 
actually often pricked and 

William (i. 195-8) 
his time to scholar's discipline, 
he was struck with paralysis 
and lost the use of one of 
his arms. After being de- 
tained [at school] by this for 
some weeks, he was brought 
home. Thence he was 
taken round through the 
different convents ^ of the 
diocese and consulted the 
physicians, who pricked his 
arm with a needle and found 
it quite insensible. 

Eboracensis, voluntas eadem, quam at 
domino suo intimavit ; addiditque 
inulier dicens, " Ducamus nobiscum et 
filium nostrum." Stabat autem puer 
auscultans parentes, verbisque matemis 
ita respondit : " Sanus sum et incolu- 
mls ; quid cum martyre facerem ? " 
Increpat pater stultum pueri responsum, 
manuque ad eum castigandum extensa, 
effugientem nee laesit nee tetigit : et 
abiit puer scholisque vacavit, nulli- 
jjcndens quod ore deliquit. Et morti- 
ficatum est nocte ilia brachium ejus et 
prorsus insensibile factum, ita ut nee 
ignem appositum nee fcrrum impositum 
sentire valeret ; nam et acu saepius 

scholari disciplinae vacaret, ut paralysi 
percussus officium alterius brachiorum 
amitteret ; qua cum per hebdomades 
aliquot detineretur, domum reductus 
est, et inde per coenobia* comprovinei- 
alia circumductus medicos consulebat ; 
qui brachium ejus acu transfigentes, 
insensibile penitus repererunt. 

' •• Coenobia," which had hospitals 
or infirmaries attached to them. 



Benedict (ii. 219-20) 

pierced through with a needle, 
but no feeling was found in 
it. The boy was sent by his 
parents on a round of visits ^ 
to many physicians, who were 
consulted about him but were 
found useless. 

(3) "See," said his 
parents, " see, you have some- 
thing [now] ' to do with the 
Martyr ' of Canterbury : 
promise at once what but 
lately you presumed to 
refuse." And he gave the 

(4) So on the following 
night he saw the Saint in 
his dreams — with that same 
blood -streak obliquely de- 
scending from his forehead 

William (i. 195-8) 

(3) At last the woman, 
whose furious outburst against 
the Saint was described 
above, returned to her senses. 
Recognising that her son 
was being punished for his 
mother's offence, she punished 
her wild speech by scourging 
and fasting. 

(4) And God had regard 
to her penitence and con- 
trition. For St. Thomas, 
appearing to her sick son, 
said, " Be thou whole. See 

compunctum et perforatum est, sed 
nihil in eo sensibilitatis inventum. 
Mittitur a parentibus puer per loca 
diversa ; ^ medici plures super eo con- 
suluntur : nihil reperitur auxilii. 

(3) "Ecce," inquiunt parentes, 
" ecce habes quid agas cum Cantuariensi 
martyre ; cito promitte quod pridie 
praesumpsisti negare." Et spopondit. 

(4) Vidit itaque nocte sequenti 
sanctum in somnis, habentem ilium 
sanguinis tractum per obliquum nasi 

(3) Resipuit tandem mulier quam 
diximus in sanctum saevisse, cogno- 
scensque quia filius suus in matemo 
delicto puniretur, linguae suae delira- 
menta jejunio virgaque castigavit. 

(4) Et res{iexit Deus contritionem 
poenitentis ; nam patienti filio ejus 
apparens beatus Thomas dixit, " Esto 

2 ** Per loca diversa," i.e. through 
one to the other, on a round of visits. 
The "loca" are defined by William. 




Benedict (ii. 219-20) 
across the nose and left cheek, 
with which we saw him when 
he lay in his own church killed 
by the swords of the impious. 
And he said to the boy, 
" See, boy, that thou betake 
thyself this year to religion. 
Arise, be thou whole." 

(5) He spake, and it 
was done. When sleep was 
banished from his eyes, he 
shewed that the death of his 
arm, if I may so say, was 
banished from his arm. He 
stretched out his arm, 

William (i. 195-8) 

that thou change thy con- 
dition of life this year, and 
put on the habit of a monk." 

(6) and began in health 

(5) Then the house — 
what with the splendour of 
the figure and with the flood 
of light from heaven — was 
so illumined that every nook 
and corner was as clear as 
day : and the young scholar 
— startled from sleep by the 
rays — leapt from his bed, 
and seizing a garment with 
the hand that was but now 
torpid, cried out again and 
again, " Father, I am healed." 

(6) Astonishment fell on 

sinistraeque maxillae a fronte descen- 
dentem, quem et vidimus ilium habere 
cum in ecclesia sua jaceret, gladiis 
impiorum occisus. Dixitque ad 
puerum, "Vide, puer, ut hoc eodem 
anno ad religionem te conferas : surge, 
esto sanus." 

(5) Dixit ct factum est. Excusso 
enim ab oculis ejus somno, excussam a 
brachio brachii, ut ita dixerim, mortem 
ostendit ; brachium extendit, 

(6) et itineris laborem, quem per- 

sanus. Vide ut vitae tuae statum mutes 
hoc anno et monachum induas." 

(5) Domus itaque ex claritate per- 
sonae et raulto coelesti lumine serenata 
est, ut omnes anguli perspicui vide- 
rentur ; ad cujus radios somno abrupto, 
lecto pupillus cxsiliit, arripiensque 
vestem ea manu quae torpuerat, ingemi- 
nat, " Pater, pater, sanus sum ! '' 

(6) Excitati parentes obstupescunt, 




Benedict (ii. 219-20) 
that very journey which he 
thought to accomplish in 

(7) We afterwards heard 
from the Priest of that town 

William (i. 195-8) 

his awakened parents, and 
also on some of the King's 
servants, who happened to 
be guests there at the 
time — on account of whose 
presence, perhaps,*^ this dis- 
pensation of mercy came 
from Him who will have all 
men to be saved and to come 
to the knowledge of the 
truth. And [these], on learn- 
ing the history of the matter 
in order, in that same hour 
entered the chapel and gave 
thanks, which they afterwards 
offered up more fully at the 
Martyr's tomb with him who 
had obtained this mercy. 

(7) When they came 
home, the youth, who had 

ficere putabat infirmus, 

sanus m- 

(7) Audivimus postea ab ejusdem 
villae presbytero puerum praedictum 

et quidam de ministris regis, ea tem- 
pestate hospitio suscepti, ob quorum 
forsan praesentiam " dispensavit banc 
misericordiam qui vult omnes homines 
salvos fieri et ad cognitionem veritatis 
venire. Seriemque rei discentes, eadem 
bora capellam ingredientes, gratias 
egerunt, quas post cum eo qui miseri- 
cordiam consecutus est ad sepulchrum 
martyris plenius exsecuti sunt. 

(7) Unde cum domum redissent, 
factus est adolescens mansuetissimus et 

8 i.e. in order that the King might 
be awakened to a sense of the Martyr's 
holiness and power. William else- 
where alleges this as a reason for St. 
Thomas's action (619). 




Benedict (ii. 219-20) 
that the boy assumed the 
habit of a monk at Fountains 
Abbey. For on his return 
home, the Saint, appearing 
to him in his sleep, again 
warned him to betake him- 
self to a monastic order. 
And the boy kept answering 
him. and putting questions 
to him, with little intervals 
between,^ " When, my lord ? " 
" Where, my lord ? " and 
many more of the same kind. 
And the parents happened 
to hear* the boy talking at 
intervals thus — but the voice 
of him that spoke with their 

William (i. 195-8) 

before been given to mirth 
and sport as youths are, be- 
came now most mild and 
sober, and begged, through 
the Priest — not venturing to 
ask it in his own person — 
that he might be allowed to 
cast off the secular garb. 
But his father put him off, 
fearing that, with the fickle- 
ness of youth, he might 
hastily take an arduous and 
difficult path from which he 
would afterwards shrink back, 
impatient of the toil, and 
repenting of his penitence. 
And it came to pass that, 

apud Fonteines religionis habitum in- 
duisse. Domum namque reverse 
iterum sanctus in somnis appaniit, 
iterum, ut ad ordinem monasticum se 
conferret, commonuit. Et respondebat 
ei puer, et intervallis parvis intercur- 
rentibus' interrogabat, " Ubi, domine? 
quando, domine ? " aliaque plura in 
hunc modum. Et audiebant * parentes 
puerum per intervalla temporum 

maturae conversationis, qui lascivus 
fuerat, ut id aetatis habet. Et cum non 
auderet in propria persona, praemium 
petiit per presbyterum, ut liceret sibi 
saecularem habitum mutare. Pater 
autem diflferebat, timens ne puerili 
levitate rem arduam et arctam viam 
arriperet, a qua postmodum oneris et 
laboris impatiens, et poenitentiae poeni- 
tens, resiliret. Et factum est uti puero 

•' ' ' Intervallis parvis intercurrenti- 
bus,' i.e. so as to give time for the 
Saint to answer. The parents heard 
the questions ; but, when the Saint 
was replying, they only noted a "little 

* "Audiebant." Probably they 
were by the boy's bedside, when he was 
in this disturbed condition. This suits 
what follows better than "used to hear," 
which is grammatically admissible. 




Benedict (ii. 219-20) 

son was quite inaudible, nor 
was his figure seen — when, 
however,^ the darkness of 
night was dispelled, and a 
marvellous splendour lighted 
up all the house so that they 
saw both their son and 
everything else in the house. 
And they said to one another, 
" Let us wait. He sees some- 
thing that we cannot see." 

When the splendour de- 
parted and the youth awoke, 
he related to his parents what 
he had seen and heard ; and, 
after a few days, he betook 
himself to monastic religion 
in the convent assigned to 
him by the Saint. 

William (i. 195-8) 

while the youth was medita- 
ting about turning to a life 
of religion, the Martyr 
Thomas appeared to him 
one night, as before, with his 
insignia,^ and stained with 
blood. And his parents 
heard him in his sleep 
answering the Martyr thus, 
" Which monastic habit ? " 
" Where ? " " When ? " " O 
my lord, have pity on me." 
And they said to one another, 
" Let us wait ; let us not 
rouse him ; he has a vision." 
But when his vision and 
sleep had fled, he cried aloud, 
" Did you see St. Thomas ? 
He was here but now. He 

loquentem, vox autem loquentis cum 
CO penitus non audiebatur, nee vide- 
batur persona ; cum tarnen," caligine 
nocturna repulsa, mirabilis quidam 
splendor totam domum illuminaret, ita 
ut puerum ipsum, et caetera omnia quae 
in domo erant, perspicue viderent. 
Dicebantque ad invicem, " Sustine- 
amus ; aliquid videt quod N-idere non 
possumus." Discedente vero splendore, 
cum puer evigilasset, quae viderat et 
audierat parentibus retulit, paucisque 
diebus interpositis, in coenobio, quod ei 
sanctus assignaverat, religioni se mon- 
asticae contulit. 

de conversione sua meditanti una 
noctium martyr Thomas sicut et prius 
apparuerit, infulatus^ et cruentatus. 
Et audierunt parentes eum in somnis 
martyri respondentem, " Cujus habitus 
monachus?" "Ubi?" "Quando?" 
" Domine, miserere mei" ; dixeruntque 
ad invicem, " Sustineamus, non ex- 
citemus eum ; visionem videt." Cum 
autem visio somnusque fugissent, clama- 
vit, " Vidistis beatum Thomam? Hie 

* "Cumtamen." We should have 
expected "suddenly," but the writer 
is illogically influenced by the 

'^ Literally, "with the y?//f/," per- 
haps here " with the mtire " (712a), 
implying all the insignia of the sacri- 
ficial office. 

§729 HIS MIRACLES 127 

William (i. 195-8) 

has but now departed.^ He 
said to me, ' Engelram,^ I 
have twice spoken to thee in 
secret. The third time I 
will appear unto thee, and 
the whole region round about 
shall know it.' " 

[728] In William's narrative, the youth is punished, not 
merely for a boyish flippancy disrespectful to St. Thomas, 
but also for his mother's sin ; the miraculous healing is 
ordained (in part at all events) to recall King Henry to a 
better mind ; moreover, lest the reader should suppose that 
the Martyr takes from the father his only son and devotes 
him to a life of celibacy, it is pointed out that there was an 
elder brother. 

[729] The graphic description of the poor boy in his 
troubled sleep holding converse with the Martyr — in which 
William and Benedict closely agree — was probably taken by 
both from the priest of Golton whom Benedict mentions as 

modo fuit, modo abscedit.* Dixit 
mihi, 'Duabus vicibus tibi, Engelrame,' 
occulte locutus sum. Tertio tibi 
apparebo, scietque tola regie' " 

8 " Abscedit," (?) an original error 
for "abscessit." 

* ♦* Engelrame." Here the son 
is called " Engelramus." Accord- 
ing to Benedict (727 (2)), " Yngelran- 
nus" — according to William (727 (i)), 
*• Stephen " — was the father s name. 
The editor identifies the two names. 
The instances where father and son have 
the same name (e.g. " William " in Mat. 
i. 200) are rare, and this is not a 
common name like " William." 


his informant : and the information (in view of the close 
similarity) probably came by letter. 

[730] The miraculous brightness by night is connected 
by Benedict with the second vision, and witnessed by the 
parents ; by William with the first vision, and witnessed only 
by the youth, who is awakened by it. On the other hand, 
the blood-streaked appearance of the Martyr is connected 
by Benedict with the first vision ; by William, with the 
second. Possibly, William thought that the brightness was 
most appropriate to the promise of healing, the blood-streak 
to the threat of punishment. A sudden outburst of moon- 
light through dark clouds might very well impress the 
excited parents — hearing their son hold converse in the dark 
with an invisible Saint — as though it were a flood of 
miraculously celestial light 

[731] William has probably modified the narrative for 
reasons of style. But the impression left on the reader is 
that he had come to the knowledge of some antecedent facts, 
unknown to Benedict and shewing that Benedict's account, 
perhaps following the story as told by Yngelrann's wife at 
Canterbury, was far too favourable to her. It seemed to 
William that the mother's tongue had encouraged her boy 
to his ruin, had he not been saved by the Saint. His severity 
to " the foul woman " (" illota ") is perhaps increased by his 
sense that she had imposed on the monks for a time as a pious 
matron^ who had actually suggested a pilgrimage to her 
husband^ of her own motion (Benedict (2)). 

§ 7. fordan, son of Eisulf 

[732] Benedict (ii. 229-34) William (i. 160-2) 

(i) The hand of the (i) There came to Can- 

Lord was heavy on a knight terbury a knight, Jordan, son 

(i) Aggravata est manus Domini (i) Venit Cantuariam miles Jordanus, 




Benedict (ii. 229-34) 
of great name/ Jordan, son 
of Eisulf, and smote his house 
with plague from August to 
Easter.- Very many were 
sick in his house, and there 
was none to help. And the 
nurse of his son William (the 
boy was also known as Brito) 
died of acute disease and was 
buried. But on the third 
day after the decease of the 
nurse the Lord also smote 
the boy himself (being about 
ten years of age) with that 
same sickness, and he was 

William (i. i6o-2) 

of Heisulf, from a town which 
he called Pontefract,^ with his 
wife and a son of about ten 
years old, whom he asserted 
to have died and to have 
been restored to life by the 
Martyr St. Thomas, offering 
thanks for this blessing. 

For on the death of the 
boy's nurse the boy likewise^ 
died, and, as being dead, 
received all the last rites 
except sepulture. 

super militem nominis magni ' Jordan- 
um Eisulfi filium, et percussit domum 
ejus plaga a tempore Augusti usque ad 
dies Paschales.2 Et infirmati sunt 
multi valde in domo ejus, nee fuit qui 
adjuvaret. Et raortua est nutrix filii 
ejus Willelmi, cognomine Britonis, 
morbo acuto, et sepulta est. Tertio 
vero die post decessum nutricis per- 
cussit Dominus et puerum ipsum fere 
decennem eodem incommodo, et sub- 

filius Heisulfi, de villa quam nomine 
Fracti Pontis appellabat,^ cum uxore 
et filio decern clrciter annorum, quem 
mortuum fuisse, et per beatum martyrem 
Thomam suscitatum asserebat, pro 
gratia gratias agens. Nutrix (prob. 
" nutrice") siquidem pueri hujus rebus 
humanis exempta, puer pariter^ decessit. 
Cui sicut mortuo caetera justa praeter 
sepulturam exhibita sunt, 

' Contrary to his usual custom, 
Benedict omits the domicile of this 
knight. Is it possible that "nominis 
magni " may be a remnant of some 
expression like William's "quam no- 
mine Fracti Pontis," which has been 
corrupted here ? 

* "Dies Paschales." This is to be 
understood as including all the deaths 
mentioned in the narrative, not the 
first two deaths merely (which took 
place some time before the middle of 
Lent, see below (7)). 

* " Quam nomine Fracti Pontis 
appellabat," a curious statement (if 
the text is correct). Did William 
think the name " Broken Bridge " so 
strange that it could not be the regular 

2 " Pariter," here implying approxi- 
mate, but not complete, simultaneous- 




Benedict (ii. 229-34) 
taken on the seventh day, 
about the third hour.' A 
priest came, and commended 
his soul to the hands of the 
Creator, and celebrated for 
the deceased the appointed 
exequies in accordance with 
the custom of the church. 
All that day and the follow- 
ing night, vigil was kept over 
him as over one deceased. 
Concerning the unbounded 
sorrow of the parents, I say 
nothing : any one, however 
simple, can imagine it. 

(2) There arrived on the 
same day pilgrims returning 
from the Martyr's memorial, 
in number about twenty, all 
of whom the father hospitably 
entertained for love of the 
Martyr : and on the morrow. 

William (i. 160-2) 

(2) , because the father 
would not permit him to be 
carried out for burial. For 
he said, as though an angel 
spoke within him, [My] spirit 
promises me that my son 
will be restored,^ 

latus est de medio die septimo, hora 
quasi tertia.^ Affuit presbyter, qui et 
animam in manus Creatoris commen- 
davit, et pro defuncto constitutas ecclesi- 
astic© more celebravit exsequias. Toto 
illo die et nocte sequenti super eum ut- 
pote super defunctum vigilatum est. De 
luctu parentum immoderato sileo, quern 
quilibet etiam simplex imaginari valebit. 
(2) Supervenerunt eodem die pere- 
grini a martyris memoria revertentes, 
numero circiter viginti, quos omnes 
paterfamilias pro martyris amore sus- 

(2) patre ad sepulturam eum non per- 
mittente deduci. Aiebat enim, tanquam 
in se loquente angelo, " Mihi filium 
meum restituendum ^ spiritus promittit ; 

3 i.e. at 9 A.M. 

^ " Restituendum," a constr. com- 
mon in William for fut. passive. 




Benedict (ii. 229-34) 
when they would have de- 
parted, he made them rest 
and refresh themselves. Now 
came the Priest to carry the 
corpse to the church that it 
might be buried. But the 
father said, "In no wise shall 
my son be carried to the 
grave, for my heart prophe- 
sies to me that the Martyr 
will not let me lose him : for 
indeed, while he was in the 
body, I was his man,* and 
his familiar friend." 

(3) And having received 
the Water of the Martyr 
from the pilgrims, he said to 
the Priest, " Pour it into his 
mouth, in case perchance the 
Martyr may give me back 
my son." 

William (i. 160-2) 

(3) , and if I had even a 
little of the Water of the 
glorious Martyr Thomas, to 
pour it into his mouth, it 
seems to me that I should 
not be — in the righteousness 
of my faith and the firmness 
of my hope — a father be- 

cepit hospitio : quos etiam in crastino, 
quum vellent abire, recumbere fecit et 
refici. Venit presbyter ut corpus 
exanime ad ecclesiam ferret et traderet 
scpulturae. At pater, " Nequaquam," 
inquit, •• efferetur filius meus, quia 
vaticinatur mihi cor meum nolle mar- 
tyrem Thomam quod ilium amittam ; 
nam et homo* ejus fui, dum esset in 
corpore, et familiaris ejus amicus." 

(3) Et accepta a peregrinis martyris 
aqua, ait presbytero, " Infunde in os 
ejus, si forte reddat mihi martyr filium 

(3) et si vel modicum aquae gloriosi 
martyris Thomae, quod in os ejus in- 
funderetur, haberem, videor mihi non 
in fide recta et spc firma pater or- 

* " Man," i.e. vassal. 




Benedict (ii. 229-34) 

(4) Wondering at the 
faith, or rather suspecting 
the insanity, that dictated 
this request, the Priest poured 
it in : and the boy did not 
arise. So the funeral was 
delayed to the tenth or 
eleventh hour,^ while the 
father was awaiting what 
the Lord would do. The 
Priest, suspecting that this 
strange craving sprang from 
something wrong in his 
reason, said, " Why, my lord, 
is the funeral thus deferred ? 
This is now the second day 
since the boy died."*^ And 

William (i. 160-2) 

reaved of his child. So 
having received the Water 
from pilgrims whom he had 
hospitably entertained, 

(4) , he poured some of 
it into the mouth of the 
deceased, which there was 
great difficulty in opening, 
owing to the rigor [mortis], 
inasmuch as from the third 
hour of the day till the 
eleventh hour of the follow- 
ing day he had lain lifeless. 
At first nothing went down 
into the stomach through the 
closed passages. 


(4) Admiratus jubentisfidem, immo 
potius suspicatus insaniam, infudit, et 
non surrexit puer. Dilata est ergo 
corporis exanimis sepultura usque ad 
horam decimam sive undecimam,^ ex- 
spectante patre quid Dominus esset 
facturus. Suspicatus sacerdos banc 
non sani capitis esse voluntatem, ait 
illi, " Utquid, domine, sepultura 
differtur defuncti ? ecce jam secunda 
dies defluxit, postquam puer decessit."® 

bandus." Aqua igitur 
hospitio susceptis accepta, 

(4) orique defuncti, quod vix rigor 
aperiri permiserat, infusa (nam ab hora 
diei tertia usque quasi in undecimam 
diei sequentis exsanguis jacuerat), 
primo nihil per interceptos meatus in 
praecordia descendit ; 

^ 4 P.M., or 5 P.M. 
^ A remarkable testimony to the pre- 
valence of speedy burial in those times. 




Benedict (ii. 229-34) 
he replied, "In no wise shall 
my son be buried : for verily 
my heart testifies to me, that 
he is to be given back to 
me by Thomas the Martyr. 
Bring hither the Water of 
my lord." 

(5) It was brought. He 
approached the corpse and 
uncovered it. Then, slightly 
raising the head and separat- 
ing with a small knife the 
clenched teeth, he poured in 
the Water. And there ap- 
peared, immediately after the 
infusion, a small spot of red 
in the middle of his left 
cheek, which gladdened the 
father not a little. So he 
poured some in again, in such 
a way that, the boy being 
placed upright, the Water 
might pass through the throat. 

William (i. 160-2) 

(5) but by degrees the 
natural channels were loos- 
ened, and, as a proof of the 
Divine power at work, a red- 
ness tinged the cheek. 

Et contra ille, " Nequaquam sepelietur 
filius meus ; revera namque testificatur 
mihi cor meum, quod per martyrem 
Thomam mihi reddendus sit : afferte 
aquam domini mei." 

(5) Quae cum allata fuisset, accessit 
corpusque detexit ; suUevavit caput, 
dentesque cohaerentes cultello inter- 
posito separans, aquam infudit. Et 
apparuit continuo post infusionem 
aquae in medio faciei ejus sinistrae nota 
ruboris modica, et patrem non modicum 
laetificavit ; infudit ergo iterum, ita 
ut crecti guttur pueri aqua transiret. 

(5) sed laxatis sensim naturae ca- 
nalibus Divinae virtutis indicium rubor 
maxillam infecit. 




Benedict (ii. 229-34) 

(6) And he opened one 
eye, and seeing his parents 
in floods of tears, he said 
these words, "Why lament, 
father ? why weep, lady ? 
Be not sad. See, Thomas 
the Martyr has given me 
back to you." 

After this he was silent 
and said nothing more till 
late in the evening. 

(7) And his father said, 
" Quick ! Bring hither four 
silver pieces " ; and he 
fastened to [the child] two 
for himself and his wife, and 
two for the resuscitated 
[child], placing one in his 
right hand, the other in his 
left, promising that the boy 
should be presented to the 
Martyr in the middle of 

William (i, 160-2) 

(6) And after a short 
interval, the boy opened one 
eye, and said, " Do not weep ! 
Thomas the glorious Martyr 
has given me back to you." 

(7) So both the parents, 
together with the boy, vowed 
a pilgrimage to the Martyr's 

(6) Et aperuit alterum oculorum, 
vidensque parentes suos in lacrymas 
effluere, haec verba locutus est, "Cur 
ploras, pater ? quare fles, domina ? 
oolite tristari ; en, reddidit me vobis 
beatus martyr Thomas." Haec quum 
dixisset, obmutuit, et usque ad vesperam 
amplius non est locutus. 

(7) Et ait pater ipsius, " Cite 
afferte argenteos quatuor " ; et com- 
plicuit duos pro se et uxore sua, duos 
autem pro resuscitato, ponens alterum 
in sinistra ejus, alterum in dextera, 
promittens offerendum martyri puerum 

(6) Parvaque interveniente mora, 
unum oculorum aperiens, " Nolite," 
inquit, " flere. Reddidit me vobis 
gloriosus ille martyr Thomas. " 

(7) Vovens itaque parens uterque 
cum puero memoriam martyris adire, 

J5 732 



Benedict (ii. 229-34) 

Lent." Then, sitting down, 
they watched him. So when 
it grew late in the evening, 
the boy sat up, tasted [food], 
spoke, was restored to his 
parents, and [ultimately] re- 
covered (convaluit). 

(8) The time appointed 
for paying the vow passed 
on, and payment was delayed, 
owing to some impediment. 
So the Martyr appeared to a 
leper named Gimpe,^ who 
lived three miles from 

William (i. 160-2) 

(8) But they prolonged 
their preparations for the 
journey till the day of Rejoice 
Jerusalem.^ Then, when 
everything was ready, they 
were hindered by the arrival, 
in that neighbourhood, of the 

in medio Quadragesimae : ^ et sedentes 
obsen-abant eum. Cum ergo ad- 
vesperasceret, resedit puer, gustavit, 
locutus est, et redditus parentibus suis 

(8) Transiit terminus voto solvendo 
praeiixus, et intercurrente impedimento 
in aliud tempus voti solutio dilata est. 
Apparuit itaque martyr Domini Thomas 
cuidam leproso in somnis, tribus pas- 
suum minibus a militis domo distanti, 

(8) usque in Laetare Jerusalem* 
procinctum itineris protelarunt. Tunc 
vero paratis necessariis, in via aliud 
subiit impedimentum. Nam comes 

^ This, then, could not have been 
later than the second or third week in 
Lent, and might have been before. 
The sun would set about 6 P.M., and 
probably earlier. The funeral is said 
above to have been delayed till 4 or 5 
P.M., which may be called the early 
evening. The applications of the 
Water, and the subsequent waiting, 
would bring the time to late in the 

" Al. "Gympe." This section is 
condensed from the original, in which 
the dialc^es are given at great length. 

* i. 161, Ed. "This is the be- 
ginning of the introit for the Fourth 
Sunday in Lent." 




Benedict (ii. 229-34) 

Jordan's house and knew 
nothing of what Jiad hap- 
pened^ bidding him go and 
warn the knight to hasten 
to Canterbury : " Unless he 
speedily haste, I will bring 
evil on him and his wife, and 
as much joy as he has re- 
ceived through me, through 
the bringing to life of his 
son, so much sorrow shall he 

William (i. 1 60-2) 

Earl Warrenne, in whose 
name the knight possessed 
lands. But it came to pass 
that St. Thomas appeared to 
a leper on the lands of the 
knight bidding him go and 
warn the knight to-morrow 
not to delay his pilgrimage 
any longer. " Otherwise let 
him know he shall lose some- 
thing else which ^ he loves 

et rem gestam prorsus ignoranti^ et ait, 
" Gimpe,* dormis ? " (hoc enim leproso 
nomen esse audivimus). " Dormivi," 
inquit, ' ' sed jam excitasti me ; tu quis 
es ? " Et martyr, " Ego sum Thomas 
Cantuariensisarchiepiscopus : Jordanum 
Eisulfi filium nosti?" ** Optime," 
inquit, "domine, utpote virum opti- 
mum, qui multa mihi bona impendit." 
Tunc sanctus, " Vade et die ei ex 
parte mea transisse terminum quern 
posuit, et vota reddita non esse quae 
promisit. Acceleret ergo et ad Can- 
tuariam eat, et pro filio suo, quem 
Dominus interventu meo vitae restituit, 
vota persolvat. Nisi citius iter arri- 
puerit, inducam super uxorem ejus 
malum ; quantumque de filio suo 
resuscitato per me suscepit laetitiae, 
tantundem de alio, quem amittet, 
obtinebit moeroris." 

Warennensis, cujus nomine res soli 
miles praetaxatus possidebat, eo loci 
veniens peregre profecturos detinebat. 
Factum est autem ut bcatus Thomas 
leproso in fundo praedicti militis 
habitanti appareret, dicens, " Dormisne, 
frater ? " " Dormiebam," inquit, 
" priusquam dormientem excitasses. 
Quisnam es tu?" Respondit, "Thomas, 
Cantuariensis archiepiscopus. Perge 
crastina die nuntiatum militi huic ut 
peregrinationem et votum suum ulterius 
non differat. Alioquin aliud, quod^ 
non minus diligit quam filium quem ei 
reddidi, se noverit amissurum." 

* The italicized words are omitted 
by William : and it certainly seems 
strange that the leper should know 
nothing of such a marvel. It is ay 
the stranger because the leper says to 
St. Thomas that he knows the knight 
as being " a very good man who 
bestows many benefits on me." 

^ Benedict's "alio quem," if written 
"alio que " in the Canterbury archives, 
may have been corrupted into "alio 




Benedict (ii. 229-34) 

obtain for another [son] whom 
he shall lose." 

(9) The leper replies 
that, being blind as well as 
confined to his bed by disease 
of the feet, he cannot obey 
the Saint : and, when he 
awakes, he takes no notice 
of the dream. The Saint, 
appearing a second time, and 
again receiving the same 
excuse, bids him entrust the 
message to his Priest. 

(10) He did so. But 
the Priest replied, " It is a 

William (i. 160-2) 

not less than the son that I 
have restored to him." 

(9) The leper feared " to 
deliver such a message. So 
the Saint appeared again on 
the following night and re- 
buked him. " Thou knowest, 
my lord," he replied, " that I 
am diseased in the feet and 
cannot walk." He (?) re- 
plied,^ " Call thy Priest that 
he himself may at all events 
carry my message." 

(10) He did so, and 
when the Priest excused 

(9) Respondit ad haec leprosus, 
"Jam anni ferme viginti praeterierunt, 
domine, ex quo lumen coeli non vidi, 
et pedes debilis jaceo lecto affixus ; et 
quomodo possem ad militis domum 
pervenire ? " Et evigilans, nee magni 
pendit quae audierat, nee fecit quod ei 
martyr injunxerat. Apparuit ergo ei 
iterum martyr, et ait; " Quare non 
fecisti quae dicta sunt tibi?" "Non 
potui, domine," inquit, "caecitate et 
debilitate praepeditus. " Et ait ad 
eum sanctus, '* Voca presbyterum tuum, 
et pone verba mea in ore ejus, ut 
annunciet militi omnia quae praecepi." 

(10) Accersivit presbyterum lep- 
rosus, et ait illi ; " Haec et haec 

(9) Eo autem timente* nuntium 
hujusmodi perferre, denuo postera 
nocte martyr adest. " Heus," inquit, 
" mandato non paruisti." Respondit, 
" Novisti, domine, quia infirmus pedes 
incedere non possum." Adjecit,'' 
" Voca sacerdotem tuum, ut vel ipse 
perferat mandatum." 

(10) Quod cum faceret, praeten- 
dente sacerdote timoris excusationem, 

' It is not clear whether William 
regards the " fear " as the only real 
reason. William makes no mention 
of the "blindness" of which Benedict 

^ " Adjecit " would naturally mean 




Benedict (ii. 229-34) 

dream. Should I tell a 
great man like that such 
fancies and idle dreams ? 
He is a man of rank and 
power, and if I tell him, he 
will ridicule and despise 
both tale and teller. You 
will not catch me bearing 
such a message." 

For the third time the 
Saint rebuked the leper, who 
told him that the Priest 
scorned even to listen to 
him : " What could I do 
more ? " Then the Saint 
bade him send his daughter 

William (i. 160-2) 

himself on the ground of 
fear and of the proneness to 
anger in a man of such high 
rank, the Martyr manifested 
himself for the third time — 
not counting him unclean 
whom the Lord had hallowed 
in the water of regeneration 
— and, convicting his inter- 
mediary "^ of contempt, he 
called and bade him send 
his daughter to take the 
message to the knight and 
his lady.^ 

mandat tibi martyr Cantuariensis. " 
At ille ; " Somnium est ; ergone viro 
tanto fabulas et somniorum naenias 
recitarem ? Vir magnus et potens est, 
et tam recitantem quam recitata sub- 
sannando contemneret ; non me habebis 
talis nuncii bajulum." Tertio astitit 
sanctus eidem leproso, et dixit, "Quare 
factum non est quod praecepi ? " 
"Domine," inquit, " pertuli mandata 
tua presbytero, et audire contempsit ; 
quid ultra facerem ? " Et contra 
sanctus, '* Mitte mane filiam tuani 

hominisque privilegiati facilem indig- 
nationem, tertio martyr suam exhibuit 
praesentiam, non immundum reputans 
quem Dominus lavacro regenerationis 
sanctificarat, arguensque contemptus 
interpretem,^ vocans ait, " Per inter- 
nuntiam filiam tuam militem et uxorem 
ejus nuntia ' quae in mandatis ac- 
cepisti " ; 

* " Interpretem " ought to mean 
the Priest, who should have been the 
"intermediary," but had despised the 
message. The leper cannot be said to 
have "despised" it. 

8 " Milit^OT et uxorem nuntia" is, 
no doubt, a mistake for the dative. 
William does not say (as Benedict 
does) that the daughter y^/^/^^j them. 

.5 732 



Benedict (ii. 229-34) 

to fetch the knight and his 
lady. When they came, he 
was to tell them the whole 
truth, hiding nothing. 

(11) They came, and 
heard the story, and were 
filled with wonder. So they 
fixed a date that should 
positively not be overpassed, 
viz. the last week of Lent : 
but owing to the unexpected 
arrival of the Earl Warrenne, 
the knight's lord, they put 
off the pilgrimage, and turned 
themselves away ^° and did 
not keep their covenant. 

(12) But on the last day 
of the appointed limit, namely 
the holy Sabbath {i.e. Satur- 
day) that precedes the day of 

William (i. i6o-2) 

(11) This was accordingly 
done. But as they still put 
it off, 

(12) Easter being close 
at hand, the elder son, whom 
the father loved the more 
tenderly because he was the 

pro milite et pro uxore ejus, et pro- 
culdubio venient ad te ; cave ergo, 
cum venerint, ne celaveris ab iis vel 
unum verbum ex omnibus quae locutus 
sum tibi." 

(11) Mane vocati sunt ; venerunt ; 
audientes admirati sunt. Terminum 
ergo posuerunt quem non transgrede- 
rentur, hebdomadam videlicet Quad- 
ragesimae ultimam : sed superveniente 
comite Warennensi, militis domino, 
peregrinationem distulerunt, et averte- 
runt se,'" et non servaverunt pactum. 

(12) Ultimo autem constituti 
termini die, sabbato videlicet sancto, 

(II) quod et factum est. Verun- 
tamen illis adhuc differentibus, 

(12) imminente solennitate Paschali , 
filius familias major natu, quem pater 

10 «« Averterunt se," i.e. 
following the Martyr's bidding. 





Benedict (ii. 229-34) 

the Lord's resurrection, the 
Lord smote with a sore disease 
another son of the knight, 
more loved than the one that 
had been restored to life, and 
a little older. On the morrow 
the parents themselves fell 
sick and took to their bed, 
and were despaired of: and 
the sickness grew strong on 
the boy, and he fell asleep 
and so passed into death " on 
the seventh day, the sixth 
day of Easter week. The 
death of their son increased 
the sickness of the parents, 
especially that of the father, 
who loved the boy all the 
more for being an exact image 
of himself So he urged his 

William (i. 160-2) 

image of his father's ancestors 
in form and figure, was seized 
by disease and died. And 
the knight and his lady, with 
the whole of the household, 
were kept to their beds by 
such a disturbance of health 
that they despaired of life. 
So fearing death, or some 
worse visitation, they set out 
on their pilgrimage. 

qui Dominicae resurrectionis diem 
praecessit, percussit Dominus acuto 
morbo alium militis filium, resuscitato 
magis dilectum, et natu pauIo majorem. 
In crastino parentes ipsi infirmati sunt 
et ceciderunt in lectum, et desperati 
sunt ; et invaluit morbus in puero, et 
obdormivit in mortem " die septimo, 
feria sexta paschalis hebdomadae. 
Aegritudinem parentum filii obitus 
augmentavit ; patris maxime, qui eum 
tenerius dilexerat eo quod vultus 
paternus elimatius in eo videretur 

tenerius diligebat, quia genus paternum 
corporeis lineamentis elimatius ex- 
pressit, correptus infirmitate rebus 
humanis excessit. Miles autem cum 
uxore tanta corporis inaequalitate 
detentus est, sicut et domus ejus tota, 
ut de vita diffiderent. Timentes itaque 
vitae exitum, vel gravius dispendium, 
peregre profecti sunt, 

'* " Obdormivit in mortem " : I am 
not sure whether "obdormire " is here 
used literally or to mean "fell asleep 
in death." If the latter, "in mortem" 
seems superfluous. 




Benedict (ii. 229-34) 

wife to an immediate pilgrim- 
age, " lest something worse 
befall us." 

(13) In that instant, the 
disease in both of them some- 
what abated. Some of their 
friends, hearing of their in- 
tention, begged them to delay, 
especially for the sake of the 
mother, who seemed likely to 
die on the way. But the 
knight replied, " Living or 
dead, we will both go to the 

William (i. 160-2) 

( 1 3) And they were 
escorted by their twenty-one 
servants, of whom some, 
having been long sick, had 
recovered on that very day, 
bydrinking the healing Water. 
But the mother, having fainted 
nine times within a short 
interval in the journey, 
despaired because of the 

expressus. Qui, videns completum iri 
quae per leprosum sanctus pronuntia- 
verat, dixit uxori suae : " Ecce, 
domina, quid nobis attulit mora nostra 
doloris : proh dolor ! certe nimis 
tardavimus ; mentiti sumus martyri, 
en, secundo, et ecce, filium nostrum 
amisimus : nos quoque comprehende- 
runt mala quae promisit, et exitum 
similem praestolamur. Oravi pro 
alio martyrem, et reddidit eum nobis ; 
sed quomodo orabimus vel pro isto vel 
pro nobis ? nihil ulterius martyrem 
offensum rogare praesumam antequam 
vota persolverim : acceleremus itaque, 
ne deterius nobis aliquid contingat." 

(13) Mirum dictu, in eodem in- 
stant! minorata est utriusque infirmitas ; 
audito vero quod ad iter se praepara- 
rent, convenenint ex amicis eorum, 
suggerentes ne infirmi et debiles tanto 
se darent labori, maxime propter 
matrem familias, quae periculosius 
laborabat, metuendum esse ne labor 
itinerisaegrotantium mortem maturaret. 
At miles, "Sive vivi sive mortui, 
iitrifuio vcnifmii'. nA martvrcm. Aut 

(13) et a viginti et uno domesticis 
suis, quorum quidam diu languentes 
aquae salutaris potatione ipsa die 
convaluerant, deduct! sunt. Mater 
vero familias, infra modicum itineris 
intervallum novies in extasim lapsa, de 




Benedict (ii. 229-34) 

Martyr. . . ." About twenty 
of the household had been 
confined to their beds for 
periods reaching from seven- 
teen to thirty weeks. On 
the point of starting, the 
knight gave each of them a 
draught of the Martyr's Water. 
Not one but was so far 
strengthened by it that he 
rose from his bed and escorted 
his master at least to the gate, 
and some a good way beyond 
the gate. His wife, who had 

William (i. i6o-2) 

length of the way. But her 
husband adhered to his pur- 
pose. " Living or dead," said 
he, " she shall be carried into 
Canterbury." And their 
journey prospered under the 
protection of the merits of 
him whom they were seeking 
[t.e. St. Thomas], according to 
the saying, " For them that 
love God all things work 
together for good, for them 
who are called according to 
His purpose " ^° : — so that the 

vivus ibo, aut ferar mortuus ; uxor mea 
vel vivens martyri adducetur vel affere- 
tur defuncta : si noluerit viventes, certe 
habebit nos vel exanimes." Langue- 
bant autem de familia militis viri 
numero quasi viginli, quorum aliqui 
hebdomadis decern et septem, quidam 
viginti, alii viginti et sex vel septem, 
nonnuUi viginti et novem vel triginta 
lecto affixi jacuerant. Profecturus 
igitur martyris aqua, quam habebat, 
singulos salutis gustum administravit. 
In singulis aqua virtutis effectum 
ostendit ; singulos de lecto erexit, ita 
ut nee unum jacentem relinqueret, qui 

viae longitudine desperabat. Sed vir 
animi constans, "Aut viva," ait, "vel 
mortua Cantuariam efferetur." Et 
prosperatum est iter ipsorum suffra- 
gantibus meritis ejus quern petebant, 
juxta quod dictum est, " Diligentibus 
Deum omnia cooperantur in bonum, 
his qui secundum propositum vocati 
sunt sancti " ; '" adeo ut mulier tria 

'" The text has "qui secundum 
propositum vocati sunt sancti,'' which 
might either mean "called (to be) holy," 
or "called according to the purpose 
of the holy one, or Saint." 

William seems to mean that they 
were called by St. Thomas, but he may 
quote St. Paul's words (Rom. viii. 28) 
as applicable to his purpose because 
God may be said to call those whom 
He calls through another. 

§ 733 



Benedict (ii. 229-34) 

fainted seven times and more 
on the first day of the journey, 
dismounted from her horse 
on seeing the pinnacle of 
Canterbury Cathedral, and 
walked barefoot as far as the 
Martyr's tomb, a distance of 
about three miles, without any 
fatigue. So,^" together with 
the boy, the parents came 
barefoot, rendering to the 
Martyr with floods of tears 
the vows which their lips had 

William (i. 160-2) 

woman, when entering Canter- 
bury, came three miles on her 
feet at a rapid pace. 

[733] Here William ends, but Benedict has a long 
discourse on the glory of this miracle, in which he says, " We 
also wrote secretly to the Priest of the knight on these points, 
and he testified to the truth, writing back that the boy was 

dominum suum exeuntem longius extra 
portatn vel usque ad portam non dedu- 
ceret. Uxor ejus, quae primo die prae 
labore itineris septies et eo amplius in 
exstasim lapsa est, videns pinnaculum 
templi Cantuariensis de equo descendit, 
nudisque pedibus usque ad martyris 
sepulchrum, quasi milliaria tria, nullo 
gravata labore perrexit. Simul '* ergo 
cum puero parentes pedibus nudis 
venerunt, reddentes martyri cum uber- 
rima lacrymarum copia vota, quae 
distinxerunt labia sua. 

milliaria Cantuariam ingressura pedes 

'2 This sentence looks as if it had 
been composed before the insertion of 
the preceding one — which describes 
how the mother entered Canterbury 
barefoot — and had been left unaltered 
after the insertion. 


certainly dead, and was raised from the dead by the Water 
of the Martyr." 

This probably explains many of the differences between 
the two writers. Benedict inserts the coming of the Priest 
to perform the burial ; his futile attempt (at the father's 
request) to resuscitate the child ; his remonstrance with the 
father ; his suspicions that the father was not quite right in his 
mind; his dialogue with the leper ^ and his contenvptuous treat- 
ment of the leper's dream — all of which are omitted by William. 
Some of these points are of importance, and especially the 
failure of the Priest, and the action of the father in lifting 
the boy's head, and then raising the body to a sitting position. 

[734] As regards other details, it is curious that William 
should differ from Benedict as to the precise number of times 
the lady fainted (B. " seven times and more," W. " nine times "), 
and as to the precise number of servants ill (B. " about 
twenty," W. " twenty-one ") : but perhaps here, too, Benedict 
copied the Priest's letter, and William the knight's testimony 
as set down in Canterbury. A more important difference, 
concerning these servants, is this. Benedict says they were 
all able to leave their beds and to escort their master, sojne a 
good way (longius), and all as far as the gate. If this was 
the fact, William's statement that they " were escorted by their 
twenty-one servants — some of whom had on that same day 
recovered (convaluerant)" — though literally correct, is mis- 
leading, as it ignores the fact that some could only get as far 
as the gate. On the other hand, Benedict represents the 
whole twenty as being benefited, more or less, by the Water : 
William mentions only " some of them." 

[735] It is interesting to find William approximating to 
Benedict in some striking utterances of the father, e.g. about 

' [733^3!] This assumes that Jordan's priest would also be the priest of the 
leper, who was on Jordan's land, three miles away. Even if the two Priests 
were different, the details are such as might naturally be emphasized by any one 
who subsequently became a convert to St. Thomas. 

§736 HIS MIRACLES 145 

his " heart prophesying to him " (William, " his spirit 
promising"). Also we can well understand that one or 
both of the parents may have told the monks that the elder 
child whom they had lost irrevocably was " the image of his 
father," or (as perhaps the knight had put it) " the image of 
his ancestors on his father's side." 

[736] William has the advantage of Benedict in brevity. 
Yet the former omits some things of dramatic vividness, too 
natural to have been invented, as for example when the 
knight, who appears to have been of a hasty temper," instead 
of simply saying that they will go to Canterbury alive or 
dead, adds, " I will go living, or I will be carried dead. My 
wife shall be either led to the Martyr living, or brought to 
him lifeless. If he won't have us alive, he shall certainly 
have us dead." Such sayings as these, treasured in the ears 
of the knight's friends, and especially perhaps recalled by 
the wife and her relations, may have been repeated to 
Benedict by Jordan's priest : and they are extremely 
characteristic. It must be added, however, that Benedict 
inserts them elsewhere (741 (5)), where William omits them. 
Did the omission arise from a sense that they betokened a 
want of faith ? Probably such words were often uttered. 
Stanley (p. 223) mentions "a wide cemetery" in which 
" were interred such pilgrims as died during their stay in 
Canterbury." It would be interesting to know whether 
those who died on the way thither were also interred there, 
and whether this often happened. 

Some stained glass in Canterbury Cathedral still 
commemorates this miracle. One of the scenes represents 
" the mother caressing her son with one hand, whilst with 
the other outstretched she gives to the father " ^ the four 
silver pieces which he vows to the Saint. 

* Sec William (10) above. 

^ Stanley, p. 297. Another picture represents the parents as coining to the 
leper {id. ). Both these points are omitted by William. 




§ 8. Cecily, daugliter of Jordan of Plumstead, is restored, 
wlien supposed to have died from cancer 

[737] Benedict (ii. 234-7) 

(i) Well then,^ in the 
diocese of Norwich, a girl, 
Cecilia [by name], daughter 
of one Jordan of Plumstead,' 
about fifteen years old, was 
smitten with cancer. 

William (i. 190-3) 

(i) I remember that I 
spoke above of one Jordan ^ 
whose son we saw recalled 
from the dead. I have now 
also to speak of another of 
the same name, but of inferior 
rank, whose daughter we saw 
liberated from a double death 
by a prodigy not inferior [to 
the other]. 

Well then,^ in the diocese 

(i) Igitur* in diocesi Norwicensi 
puella Caecilia, Jordani cujusdam filia 
de Plumstede- quindecimcirciterhabens 
aetatis annos, cancro percussa est. 

(i) Memini me dixisse de quodam 
Jordane,' cujusfilium vidimus revocatum 
a mortuis. Dicendum est et nunc de 
quodam alio ejusdem nominis, sed in- 
ferioris conditionis, cujus filiam non in- 
feriori prodigio vidimus a duplici morte 
liberatam. Igitur^ in diocesi Norwi- 

1 " Igitur." The last miracle, that 
of Jordan of Pontefract, concluded 
thus : " I will subjoin two miracles, 
not less wonderful and not much in- 
ferior in importance (magnitudine), 
concerning two who are believed to 
have died." After such a preface, 
"igitur" is often used as an introduc- 
tion. ^Vhen the introductory " igitur " 
is used without an introduction, we 
may often assume that it once existed, 
but has been omitted. 

2 "De Plumstede." Ed. adds 
"in Norfolk." The similarity of the 
name "Jordan" to that in the last 
narrative makes it all the more remark- 
able that Benedict omitted the domicile 
there (732 (I)). 

' " Jordane " (for " Jordano ") both 
here and below, in section (15). 

"^ " Igitur." See note (i) in Bene- 
dict. William includes in his story a 
Preface similar to that which Benedict 
has written to do double duty, — being 
an Appendix to the preceding narrative 
and a Preface to this one. 





Benedict (ii. 234-7) 

(2) While maidenly mo- 
desty induced her to bear her 
pain rather than publish what 
caused her shame, the disease 
gradually spread till it ate 
away the thighs and hinder 
parts so that the joints of the 
bones, and the muscles lay 
open to view. 

(3) At length her pale 
face shewed that she was out 
of health : her parents asked 
what ailed her and received 
most painful reports.^ 

(4) The ulcers were a 
foot in breadth, emitting such 

William (i. 190-3) 
of Norwich, a girl, Cecilia [by 
name], about fifteen years old, 
was smitten with cancer, 

(2) In a short time, while 
maidenly modesty induced 
her to bear her pain rather 
than publish what caused her 
shame, the thighs were eaten 
away so that the joints of the 
bones were laid bare and the 
muscles lay open to view. 

(3) William omits this. 

(4) The wounds were a 
foot in breadth, and there 

(2) Quae dum virginal! verecundia 
maluit perferre dolorem quam proferre 
pudorem, serpente paulatini morbo 
exesa sunt femora ejus et nates, ut 
ossium juncturae nervorumque coUiga- 
menta paterent. 

(3) Tandem vero sanam non esse 
earn vultus indicabat exsanguis ; quaerunt 
parentes quid patitur, et magni doloris 
rumores ^ excipiunt. 

(4) Ulcerum latitude pedis men- 
suram aequabat ; tanti foetores inde 

censi puella Cecilia, quindecim drciter 
habens aetatis annos, cancro percussa 

(2) Cujus in brevi, dum virginali 
verecundia mavult perferre dolorem 
quam pudorem proferre, exesa sunt 
femora, ut denudarentur ossium junc- 
turae ner^•orumque coUigamenta pate- 

(3) om. 

(4) Nam vulnerum latitudo men- 
suram pedis aequabat, intolerabilesque 

' " Magni doloris rumores " (?), 
" reports of great pain (in the patient)," 
or, "that caused the parents great 




Benedict (ii. 234-7) 
a Stench that even her mother 
desired her death and her 
familiar friends avoided her 
presence. The neighbours 
loathed to enter the house 
where she lay. The ulcers 
of the devouring cancer were 
wrapped in cloths that had to 
be changed every hour owing 
to the mass of putrid matter 
that came forth thence as it 
were in steam. 

(5) Sit, or lie, she could 
not ; but leaning on her knees 
and elbows she kept the atti- 
tude of one falling on her face. 

William (i. 190-3) 

came forth thence as it were 
in steam mephitic vapours, 
intolerable, so that even her 
mother desired her death and 
familiar friends avoided her 
presence. For the corrupt 
matter used to consume^ 
every day the strips of cloth 
in which the devouring plague 
was swathed. 

(5) William omits this. 

prodibant, ut et mater mortem ejus 
optaret, et familiares ejus declinarent 
praesentiam ; vicini quoque domus in 
qua jacebat abhorrebant ingressum. 
Edacis ulcera cancri pannis obvolve- 
bantur, quos tabis evaporantis copia 
singulis horis mutari cogebat ; 

(5) sedere seu jacere non poterat, 
sed genibus innitens et cubitis procum- 
bebat in faciem. 

mephites evaporabant, ut et mater ejus 
mortem optaret, familiaresque prae- 
sentiam declinarent. Corruptio quippe 
panniculos quibus pestis edax involve- 
batur omni die consumebat.^ 

(5) om. 

3 MSS. " consume3a«/." Ed. 
reads " consume^a/ " (which might 
have been changed to "consume<5a/"). 
The original meaning probably was 
that the disease "wasted," or "con- 
sumed," the cloths that were continu- 
ally applied, because they had continu- 
ally to be taken off and destroyed, and 
new ones applied. William's words 
suggest that the "devouring disease" 
literally "consumed" them (Sophocl. 
Track, 695) ; but that is perhaps the 
result of his attempt at brevity and force. 





Benedict (ii. 234-7) 

(6) Suffering thus from 
harvest-time up to the month 
of March, she was at last quite 
brought to extremity. For 
three or four days, taking 
neither food nor drink, but 
remaining still * in bed, lean- 
ing against the wall, with her 
knees drawn together, her 
eyelids open and motionless, 
she seemed to present the 
aspect of one neither living 
nor dead. 

(7) So her friends, behold- 
ing her [thus], thought she 
had been carried [in ecstasy] 
out of her body : calling to 
mind a woman in the neigh- 

William (i. 190-3) 

(6) Tortured* by this 
pest, from about harvest-time 
to the first of March, she was 
brought down to extremity. 
So from Tuesday to Friday 
she took neither food nor 
drink, but all the time remain- 
ing still in bed, leaning against 
the wall, with her knees drawn 
together, her eyelids open and 
motionless, she presented the 
appearance of one neither 
dead nor living. 

(7) So the servants of 
the house,^ beholding her 
[thus], thought she was being 
led out of her body : calling 
to mind a woman in the 

(6) A tempore messis usque ad 
mensem Martium laborans tandem ad 
extrema perducta est ; tribus aut quatuor 
diebus non edulio, non potu, refecta 
est, sed residens* in lecto, accumbens 
parieti, genibus contractis, ciliis patulis 
et immotis, nee viventis nee mortui 
speciem exhibere videbatur. 

(7) Unde sui contemplantes arbitrati 
sunt eam extra corpus raptam, remini- 
scentes cujusdam mulieris vicinae, Ag- 

(6) Hac autem lue vexata * quasi a 
tempore messis in kalendas Martias, ad 
extrema deducta est. Igitur a tertia 
feria usque sextam non edulio, non potu 
reficiebatur, sed usque residens in lecto, 
accumbens parieti, genibus contractis, 
ciliis patulis et immotis,. nee mortui 
speciem nee viventis exhibebat. 

(7) Unde domestici * contemplantes 
eam arbitrati sunt extra corpus duci, 
reminiscentes cujusdam mulieris vicinae, 

* "Residens" sometimes means 
"sitting «/," sometimes "sitting to 
rest" but here seems to mean " remain- 
ing still" as in 737 (10). 

* " Vexata," used of torture in 
Purgatory by William in section (8), 

' In 732 (13), William has "do- 
mestici," where Benedict has "familia," 
and where the sense and context in- 
dicate that "servants" (not "family") 
are meant. 




Benedict (ii. 234-7) 

bourhood, Agnes by name, 
who, a few days before, on 
falling into a deep sleep, had 
been carried in the spirit [out 
of her body], and, with the 
guidance and revelation of 
St. Catharine, had for five 
days beheld the rewards and 
punishments of the departed. 
(8) Benedict omits this. 

William (i. 190-3) 

neighbourhood, Agnes by 
name, who, on falling asleep, 
had been carried in the spirit 
through divers regions with 
the guidance of St. Catharine; 
and the rewards and punish- 
ments of the departed had 
been revealed to her. 

(8) Among whom she 
[t.e. Agnes] saw also one 
Godwin, a priest — who had 
departed life a few days 
before — with his knees griev- 
ously ulcerated by repeated 
blows from a nail.^ It was 
thought that he was tortured 
with this punishment because. 

netis nomine, quae paucis ante diebus 
cum obdormivisset in spiritu rapta est, 
et beata Katerina ducente et ostendente, 
diebus quinque praemia poenasque de- 
functorum contemplata. 
(8) om. 

Agnetis nomine, quae cum dormisset 
ducente beata Katerina per varia loca 
in spiritu rapta est, et ostensa sunt ei 
praemia et poenae defunctorum ; 

(8) inter quos et presbyterum vidit 
Godwinum quendam, qui paucis antea 
diebus a corpore exierat, genua sua 
assidua repercussione clavis unius gra- 
viter exulceratum.^ Quo supplicio 
vexari putabatur quia vivens in corpore 

* " Genua sua assidua repercussione 
clavis unius graviter exulceratum." 
Does the bad Latin (" unius ") indicate 
that William is adding a local tradition 
told in local language? It appears 
probable that " sua " = " ejus." God- 
win did not wound himself thus in 
penitence. He was punished thus, — 
we may suppose, in Purgatory. 




Benedict (ii. 234-7) 

(9) So, thinking that she, 
too, like [Agnes], had been 
led out of the body, they 
watched her in the hope of 
her return. 

(10) But it came to pass, 
while the girl remained [thus] 
unmoved, there came in to 
[see] her, toward night-fall, a 
woman from the neighbour- 
hood, who loved her very 
dearly. And she, believing 
her to be really dead, ex- 
claimed, " What a sin it was 
for you to let this girl die in 

William (i. 190-3) 

when living in the body, he 
had taken away and kept the 
key of the Church of St. 
Mary while another priest 
was celebrating mass therein. 
(9) William omits this. 

(10) But it came to pass, 
while the girl above-mentioned 
remained [thus] unmoved, 
there came in [to change all 
this] a woman from the neigh- 
bourhood for the sake of pay- 
ing her a visit — one that had 
loved her. And seeing " her 
dead, she exclaimed, " Why, 
in your ^ sight and with your 

(9) Putantes itaque et hanc de cor- 
pore similiter eductam, spe reversionis 
ejus servabant eam. 

(10) Factum est autem, dum sic 
pueila resideret immota, ut introiret ad 
eam sub noctis initio mulier vicina, 
quae tenerius eam diligebat, credensque 
revera mortuam, exclamavit dicens, 
" Quam male egistis, qui puellam hanc 

clavem ecclesiae beatae Mariae sibi 
praeripuerat dum quidam alius sacerdos 
in ea solennia missae celebraret. 
(9) ora. 

(10) Factum est autem, dum sic 
pueila praedicta resideret immota, ut 
inteneniret mulier vicina visitandi 
gratia, quae dilexerat illam. Quam 
videns^ mortuam exclamavit, " Quare 
nobis* videntibus et dimittentibus in 

^ Stronger than Benedict's "believ- 
ing her to be dead." 

* Text " nobis," an obvious error 
of the scribe (or modem misprint) for 
♦•vobis." William's words do not 
appear (like Benedict's) to say that she 




Benedict (iL 234-7) 

her bed! Why, like [all] 
catholics on the pointof death, 
was she not laid out in a 
hair-cloth ? You have acted 

(11) She was carried, then, 
into an outer building, and 
laid out on the floor : — her 
limbs stiff, her body cold, and 
eyes wide open ; the muscles 
of the knees contracted, and 
stiff, and quite hardened, as 
[might be expected] in one 
dead : the legs could in no 
wise be straightened out or 
stretched — a linen sheet was 
also laid on the corpse, and. 

William (i, 190-3) 
permission, dying in her bed, 
was she not — like [all] catho- 
lics on the point of death — 
laid out in a hair-cloth ? You 
have acted foolishly." 

(11) She was carried ac- 
cordingly into an outer build- 
ing and laid down on the 
floor, with limbs stiff, and 
eyes wide open. There was 
also placed under ^ the corpse 
a linen sheet, and, after the 
custom of funerals, tapers 
were kindled. 

in lecto suo mori permisistis ; quare, 
de more morientium catholicorum, ex- 
posita non est in cilicio? imprudenter 
egistis. " 

(11) Elata est ergo in exteriorem 
domum et in aream exposita, membris 
rigidis, frigido corpora, oculisque 
patentibus, contractis poplitum nervis, 
et utpote in mortuo rigidis et prorsus 
obduratis. Crura nuUatenus erigi 
poterant aut extendi ; superpositum est 

lecto mortua de more morientium 
catholicorum exposita non est in cilicio ? 
Imprudenter egistis." 

(II) Elata est itaque in exteriorem 
domum, et in area deposita rigidis 
membris et patulis oculis. Suppositum ^ 
est et cadaveri linteamen, et in morem 
funeris accensa sunt luminaria. 

ought not to have been allowed to die 
in her bed, but that, if she died in her 
bed, she ought to have been clothed 
with hair -cloth. But probably he 
meant the same a Benedict ; only he 
has disarranged the words. 

" " Suppositum," apparently a cor- 
ruption of Benedict's "superpositum." 
See 79Za. 




Benedict (ii. 234-7) 

after the custom of funerals, 
tapers were lighted. 

(12) But the father — who 
had thrown himself down [to 
sleep] in a separate chamber 
worn out at once by sorrow 
and by labour — roused from 
slumber, rushed in, crying 

(13) "Is my daughter 
really dead ? " " Indeed," 
said his wife, " she is dead." 

(14) Then said he, "O 
St. Thomas, Martyr of God, 
return me now my service, 
which in bygone days I zeal- 
ously paid you. Return me 
my service. Now am I in 
sore need. 

(15) " Once I served you 
with zeal before you were 

William (i. 190-3) 

(12) But the father — who 
had thrown himself down [to 
sleep] in a separate chamber, 
worn out at once by sorrow 
and by labour — shaking off 
slumber, rushed in, crying 

(13) "If the Lord is pro- 
pitious unto me, my daughter 
is not dead. 

(14) "O, St. Thomas, 
return me now my service, 
which in bygone days I zeal- 
ously paid you." And with 
lamentable outcry he kept on 
repeating, " Return me my 
service. Now am I in sore 
need. Return me my service." 

(15) Now as to his rea- 
son for saying this, we deem 

etiam cadaveri linteamen, et in morem 
funeris accensa sunt luminaria. 

(12) Pater autem, qui se seorsum 
projecerat, vexatum dolore pariter et 
labore, excitatus a somno cum clamore 

(13) " Nunquid mortua est filia 
mea?" ** Revera," inquit mulier, 
" mortua est." 

(14) Tunc ille, "O beate Thoma, 
Dei martyr, redde mihi nunc servitium 
meum quod tibi olim sedulus impendi ; 
redde mihi servitium meum ! Urget 
nunc necessitas. 

(15) " Olim tibi sedule servivi ante- 

(12) Pater autem, qui se seorsum 
projecerat, vexatum dolore pariter et 
labore, excusso somno irruit cum 

(13) "Si Dominus mihi propitius 
est, filia mea mortua non est. 

(14) •* O beate Thoma, redde nunc 
mihi servitium quod tibi sedulus olim 
impendi ! " Et iterat lugubri clamore, 
** Redde mihi servitium ! urget nunc 
necessitas ; redde mihi servitium 
meum ! " 

(15) Quod quare dixerit, non credi- 




Benedict (ii. 234-7) 
exalted with this world's hon- 
ours. Return me my service ! 
Remember, blessed Martyr, 
how you were sick long ago 
in Kent in Clerk Turstan's 
house, and what good service 
I gave you there. You could 
not touch wine, or spirits, 
or beer, or any intoxicating 
liquor, and I used to scour the 
whole neighbourhood to find 
you whey. Return me my 
service ! Then you had but 
one horse, and I had charge 
of that, too. Return me my 
service, bearing in mind all 

William (i. 190-3) 

it not beside the purpose to 
append an explanation of 
succinct brevity. 

Well then, St. Thomas, 
before being exalted with 
this world's honours — before 
by fortune's smile he was 
enlarged both in resources 
and in reputation ^° — was 
entertained as a guest by 
a clerk, Turstan by name, 
a native of Kent, who, in 
a place called Croindenne,^^ 
under Archbishop Theobald, 
being appointed Proctor, was 
energetic in business and 

quam saecularibus eflferreris honoribus ; 
redde mihi servitium meum ! Me- 
mento, beate martyr, quam infirmus 
dudum in Cantia in domo Turstani 
clerici exstiteris, qualiter illic tibi ser- 
vierim. Vinum et siceram et cervisiam, 
et omne quod inebriare potest, gustare 
non poteras ; et ego tibi per totam 
viciniam serum perquirebam, quod 
biberes ; redde mihi servitium meum ! 
Unicum tunc habebas equum, cujus 
et ego curam agebam ; redde mihi, 
martyr, servitium meum, reminiscens 

mus ab re succincta brevitate sub- 

Beatus igitur Thomas, priusquam 
saecularibus efferretur honoribus, '<* 
priusquam risu fortunae facultate dila- 
taretur et nomine, hospitio susceptus 
est apud quendam clericum Turstanum 
nomine, Cantianum nalione, qui in 
loco qui dicitur Croindenne" sub 
archiepiscopo Theodbaldo procurator 
constitutus rem strenue gerebat, et in- 

10 " Before . . . reputation " looks 
as though it were an ornate paraphrase 
(of Benedict's " before . . . honours ") 
which William inserted along with the 
original. In any case the insertion 
is an amusing comment on W^illiam's 
"succinct brevity." 

" " Croindenne." Ed., in marg., 





Benedict (ii. 234-7) 

the trouble I had in waiting 
on you. Return me my ser- 
vice ! You [surely] do not 
wish me to have served you 
for naueht." 

William (i. 190-3) 
diligent in his service. In his 
house — when Thomas, who 
was sick, could drink neither 
wine, nor spirits, nor any 
intoxicating liquor ^^ — it was 
by the procurement and dili- 
gent search of this valet of 
his (" vernaculo "), Jordan,^^ 
all through the neighbour- 
hood, that he used to drink 
whey, as his disease required. 
The man also had charge of 
his single horse, for, as a 
private man, he [i.e. the Saint] 
had but one. It was because 
of this liberal ^* service thus 
bestowed that the man pre- 
sumed, repeating again and 
again, " Return me my ser- 

omnium laborum, quos circa te per- 
pessus sxmi ; redde mihi servitium 
meum ! non indiges quod gratis tibi 

dustrie negotia ministrabat. Ubi cum 
Thomas infirmatus nee vinum nee si- 
ceram^^nec aliquid quod inebriare possit 
biberet, vernaculo isto Jordane '^ pro- 
curante et discjuirente per viciniam, 
serum bibebat, sicut morbus exigebat. 
Qui etiam curabat equum quem unicum 
privatus habebat. Huic de impensa 
liberalitate " praesumens replicabat 
** Redde mihi servitium." 

« William omits Benedict's "beer," 
perhaps as too common for St. Thomas, 
even in the flesh. 

" "Jordane," (?) misprint for 
•' Jordano." 

" " Liberal service." Perhaps a 
play on the word as meaning also 




Benedict (ii. 234-7) 
(16) In such outcries as 
these the man spent nearly 
half the night. So, when he 
had reiterated " Return me 
my service " so often as to 
stop his windpipe with 
hoarseness, the pity of the 
Martyr assented to the prayers 
of the suppliant, and, lest he 
should seem ungrateful for 
all his services, he restored 
his daughter to her original 

(17) For straightway, 
under the linen sheet with 
which she lay covered,^ she 

William (i. 190-3) 

(16) And when he had 
reiterated this so often as 
to stop his windpipe with 
hoarseness, the Saint, moved 
by pity, resolved not to be 
thought ungrateful. For he 
restored the woman to life.^^ 

(17) And immediately, 
drawing her hand towards 
her, she spoke ; although she 

(16) In hujusmodi clamoribus fere 
dimidium noctis expendit. Quum 
igitur totiens inculcasset '* Redde mihi 
servitium meum ! " ut raucitas ei arc- 
taret arterias, annuit martyris pietas 
precibus supplicantis, at, ne omnibus 
servitiis ejus videretur ingratus, puellam 
pristinae sanitati restituit ; 

(17) statim namque sub linteo, 
quo tecta * jacebat, manum porrectam 

(16) Quod cum totiens inculcasset 
ut raucitas arctaret arterias, noluit 
beatus, pietate motus, ingratus haberi. 
Nam mulierem vitae ^° restituit, 

(17) quae confestim manum ad se 
trahens locuta est, quamvis nondum 

^ William, who (737 (i i)) regarded 
the linen sheet as "suppositum," in- 
stead of " superpositum," here omits 
all mention of it. 

"the service of a free man." This 
mere domestic servant, this " vemacu- 
\n%," presumed on his service as though 
it had been a free gift ! And St. 
Thomas rewarded his presumption, 
instead of chastising him ! 

*5 William perhaps feels that she 
was restored y?rj^ to "life," and only 
afterwards to her "original health." 
By this alteration, he emphasizes the 
deliverance from what he called above 
(i) "a double death." 





Benedict (ii. 234-7) 

put her hand forth and then 
drew it back (or, drew back 
her outstretched hand). But, 
though she attempted to 
speak, she could utter nothing 
intelligible, owing to her ex- 
cessive weakness. 

(18) On the morrow she 
gained strength by food and 
drink. Even the cankered 
thighs were dried up within 
three days ; and, in three 
weeks, without any medicine 
of this world, they were made 
quite whole. 

(19) After this wonder- 
ful termination, the man 

William (i. 190-3) 

did not as yet utter any in- 
telligible sound, reduced as 
she was by leanness and 

(18) On the morrow she 
took food and drink. Even 
the cankered thighs — the 
purulent matter being dried 
up ^"^ — were made quite whole 
within the space of three 

(19) After this wonder- 
ful ending, the man above- 

ad se retraxit, sed loqui conata prae 
debilitate nimia nihil intelligibile vale- 
bat exprimere. 

(18) Poster© die cibo potuque re- 
focillata est ; ipsa vero femora cancerosa 
infra diem tertium desiccata sunt, et in 
hebdomadis tribus absque omnimedicina 
camali redintegrata. 

(19) Quibus mirifice completis adiit 

intelligibilem vocemexprimeret, macie*^ 
et morte confecta. 

(18) Postera die cibum sumpsit et 
potum. Ipsa vero femora cancerosa 
infra trium hebdomadarum spatium 
purulentiis desiccatis '' redintegrata 

(19) Quibus mirifice expletis, adiit 

18 '« Macies " is nowhere used for 
" hunger " as William seems to use it 
here. He probably sacrifices sense to 
alliteration. Above, he omits Bene- 
dict's " porrectam " perhaps as sujier- 
fiuous. But Benedict seems to see the 
asm first stretched out from beneath the 
face-cloth, and then drawn back again. 
Comp. 741 (6). 

'^ William perhaps objects to the 
expression ••femur desiccatum." 




Benedict (ii. 234-7) 
above-mentioned, the girl's 
father, sought the presence 
of William, Bishop of Nor- 
wich, informing him of the 
event and asking for a letter 
of testimony. 

But the Bishop did not 
at once*^ credit the story, but 
first called the Priest and the 
eye-witnesses, and ascertained 
all the facts in order, so that, 
when certified by their testi- 
mony, he might come forward 
as a witness. Moreover, 
after calling in two respect- 
able matrons to examine any 
traces of cancer, he proved 
that the girl was [now] in 
perfect health. 

William (i. 190-3) 

mentioned, the girl's father, 
sought the presence of his 
lord, the Bishop of Norwich, 
informing him of the event 
and asking for a letter as 
testimony,^^ lest — when he 
came to Canterbury and pre- 
pared to tell his story — he 
might be thought to say 
things that passed supposal 
and belief, without authority. 
But the Bishop did not 
at once credit ^^ the story, 
until — after calling the Priest 
and the eye-witnesses and 
two respectable matrons to 
examine any traces of can- 
cer — he ascertained all the 
facts in order. 

vir praedictus, pater puellae, Norvi- 
censis episcopi Willelmi praesentiam, 
rem gestam indicans et litteras testi- 
monii petens. Episcopus vero non de 
piano'' fidem adhibuit, sed sacerdote 
vocato, iisque qui rem praesentes vide- 
rant, rem totam didicit ex ordine ; 
quorum testimonio certificatus rei gestae 
posset testis existere. Duabus etiam 
vitae probatae matronis ad se vocatis, 
quae cancri vestigia considerarent, 
sanissimam esse probavit. 

praedictus vir, pater puellae, praesentiam 
domini sui Norwicensis episcopi, rem 
gestam indicans, petensque litteras 
testimonia, *^ ne Cantuariam veniens et 
rem narraturus supra opinionem et 
fidem, citiu ^uctoritatem, loqui putare- 
tur. Episcopus vero non de piano '^ 
fidem adhibuit, donee vocato sacerdote 
et eis qui rem praesentes viderant, et 
duabus matronis probatae vitae, quae 
vestigia cancri considerarent, rem 
omnem didicit ex ordine. 

6 •• De piano," like the French 
"sur le champ," here means "right 
off," or "as a matter of course." 

*^ "Litteras testimonia," perhaps 
a corruption of Benedict's "1. testl- 
monii." But see above (710 (14)). for 
variations of this phrase. 

'" Ed. suggests "de pleno." But 
see note on Benedict. 




Benedict (ii. 234-7) 

(20) So he addressed to 
us a letter sealed with his 
seal testifying that she had 
been laid out on the floor as 
dead, but touching too briefly 
on the points treated by us, 
as we believe, with sufficient 
fulness. The tenor of the 
letter is as follows : — 

William (i. 190-3) 

(20) And it was divinely 
provided that [this] careful 
inquiry should remove all 
doubt. So he made the 
matter known to the brothers 
worshipping God in the church 
of Canterbury in a document 
signed with his seal, of which 
the tenor is as follows : — 

" William, by grace of God Bishop of Norwich, to his 
venerable brothers in the Lord, the Prior and sacred convent 
of Canterbury, eternal salvation in Christ. 

" The wonderful works of God, which in our diocese 
come to pass concerning those afflicted with divers infirmities, 
from their earnest devotion to St. Thomas (W., to the Saint 
of God, the most saintly Thomas), and (VV. om. attd) from the 
pure invocations of their hearts, which of their free will they 
proffer — these we desire with all our heart" to make known 
unto you. For what God, glorifying His Saint, would not 
have to lie hid, how shall man presume to keep secret ? 

{20) Divinitusque procuratum est 
ut diligens inquisitio omnem removeret 
ambiguitatem. Igitur apicibus caractere 
suo signatis fratribus in Cantuariensi 
ecclesia Deum venerantibus factum in- 
notuit, quarum forma haec est : 

(20) Litteras ergo sigillo suo sig- 
natas nobis destinavit, quod tanquam 
mortua in aream exposita fuit testi- 
monium perhibens, sed breviter nimis 
tangens quae superius a nobis suffi- 
cienter, ut credimus, tractata sunt. 
Litterarum autein forma haec est : 

" Willelmus Dei gratia Norwicensis episcopus, venerabilibus in Domino 
fratribus suis, priori sacroque conventui Cantuariae, aeternam in Christo salutem : 

•• Magnalia Dei, quae in nostra eveniunt diocesi circa oppressos variis aegri- 
tudinibus, ex attenta devotione quam habent erga sanctum Thomam, et ex pura 
mentium invocatione, quam ipsi porrigunt, vestrae sanctitati innotescere omni 
dcsiderio desideramus ; " quippe quae Deus mirificando sanctum suum latere non 
vult, qualiter apud homines occultari praesumetur ? Ut itaque ex testimonio 

• Lit. "we desire with all desire," as in Luke xxii. 15 "with desire have I 


Benedict (ii. 234-7), William (i. 190-3). 

[738] " As, then, we have received from the testimony 
of William, a priest in our domain, and of very many ^ of 
our men, the bearer of these presents, Cecilia, daughter of 
one that is a man of ours, having been long kept to her bed 
by the disease of cancer, while that disease was painfully 
creeping round her thighs, at last, under the increasing 
pressure of the disease, was brought so low that she was 
thought to be lifeless, and laid out on the floor as being 
dead. Wherefore her father's soul, turned to bitterness,'' yet 
still trusting in the Divine compassion and in the merits of 
the most blessed Martyr, [^bursting out into exclamations of 
sorrow, invoked the Saint of the Lord with perfect devotion of 
heart ; and, through the co-operation of Divine grace, obtained 
tJie restoration of her original health for his daughter. 
WJurefore this girl, restored to her original health by the 
merits of the most blessed Martyr,''] is sent by us to you 
together with the testimony of our writing, because of (W., 
for) the glory of this great miracle. Farewell." 

Willelmi sacerdotis cujusdam terrae nostrae et plurimorum * hominum nostrorum 
accepimus, latrix praesentium Caecilia, filia cujusdam hominis nostri, aegritudine 
cancri diu detenta, dum morbus iste circa femora sua anxie serperet, tandem eo 
usque morbo aggravante oppressa est, ut exanimis reputaretur, et tanquam mortua 
in area exponeretur ; unde anima patris sui in amaritudinem " conversa, confidens 
tamen de Divina misericordia et de meritis beatissimi martyris, [in vocem doloris 
prorumpens, viente devotissima sanctum Domini invocavit, et pristinae sanitatis 
restitutionem filiae suae, gratia Divina cooperante, impetravit. Unde earn pri- 
stinae suae sanitati meritis beatissimi tnartyris']'^ restitutam cum scripti nostri 
testimonio ad vos ob gloriam tanti miraculi transmittimus. Bene valete." 

^ Benedict, "plurimorum," W., "plurium," "Men," and "man" below, 
mean "vassals." 

« No doubt this is right ("in amaritudinem"). But W. has " amaritudine," 
either an error of transcription, or possibly interpreted thus " turned [to God] in its 
bitterness." Note that both above (" plurlorum "), and here ("amaritudine"), 
W. may have been misled by abbreviations. In i. 416, editor corrects 
"amaritudinem" to "amaritudine," which is manifestly right. 

•* Benedict omits the italicized passage, all except the word "restored 
(restitutam)." The reason for the omission is that, after copying the Bishop's 
letter up to theyfrj/ "merits of the most blessed Martyr," the copyist's eye, in 

§740 HIS MIRACLES i6i 

[739] The similarity between Benedict and William is 
very close in the description of the disease, which is too well 
written to represent exactly what Cecilia or her father said 
at Canterbury. It may well have proceeded from the priest 
William whom the Bishop called in to give evidence. 
Perhaps his handwriting was crabbed, for William seems 
to have misread it in several places. Also William seems 
to have thought that Benedict's account was more than 
"sufficiently" full. At all events, he in several passages 
condenses it, and sometimes omits important, or even 
essential, details. He also improves the style by changing 
" foetores " to " mephites," omitting " cerevisia," and softening 
the " vernacular " expostulation of Jordan (whom he expressly 
calls " vernaculus ") by giving it as Reported Speech in the 
Third Person. On the other hand he goes off into digres- 
sions — about Priest Godwin, who stole a church-key, and 
Proctor Turstan, who was an excellent man of business — 
that do not give point to his narrative. 

[740] As regards the cure, it is remarkable that in this 
case there was no resort to the Water of Canterbury. This 
indicates that it was an early miracle. So does the absence 
of any offering of coin, or vow of pilgrimage. The emotional 
shock that raised the poor girl from her lifeless condition 
would be explained by some in modern times as the result 
of sympathetic " brain-wave " — and not as the mere result of 
outcry. Experts must decide how far a disease of the kind 
described above could be permanently cured by a mere 
shock of emotion. 

returning to the original, fell on the second •• merits of the most blessed Martyr." 
So he passed on, as if he had written the second, and also what preceded it. 
Occurring in a letter, which might seem to need no revision, such a mistake 
might more easily remain uncorrected than in its own narrative. This scribal 
error is commonly called the error of HomoioteUution, i.e. "similar endings." 




§ 9. The son of Hugh Scot 

[741] Benedict (ii. 238-9) 

(i) In a manor of the 
county of Warwick, called 
Benedega/ Hugh, known as 
Scot, is testified by his 
neighbours in the county to 
be of good name and un- 
blemished reputation. 

His son Philip, about 
eight years old, while by a 

is restored after drowning 

William (i. 200-2) ^ 

(i) In the county of 
Cheshire, the man Hugh, 
known as Scot, was of good 
name and repute among his 
fellow tribesmen.^ 

His son Philip, about 
eight years old, sitting by an 
ironstone quarry while he 
had been overwhelming^ with 

(I) InpraedioterritoriiWarwicensis, 
quod Benedega' dicitur, Hugo cogno- 
mento Scotus boni nominis et opinionis 
integrae a comprovincialibus suis esse 
perhibetur. Filius hujus Philippus, 
annorum circiter octo, dum ad ferrifo- 

(l) In* territorio Cestrensi vir 
Hugo, cognomento Scotus, boni 
nominis et opinionis fuit inter con- 
tribules^ suos. Cujus filius Philippus, 
octo circiter annorum, dum ad ferrifo- 
dinam residens bufonem a lutosis 
emergentem puerili studio lapidibus 
obruerat,' conatus suos incircum- 

* Or, "Beneclega." William has 
"Cheshire." In ii. 245 Benedict has 
"Cheshire" for "Gloucestershire." 
Perhaps, where the first letters of the 
name of a county were obscured, the 
termination "-censis" was likely to 
cause the name to be corrupted into 

' William prefixes to his story a 
reference to his preceding one (which 
is also about revivification): "Why 
wonder, reader? Wonder at what 
follows . . . the facts themselves and 
the Martyr's power should persuade 

This way of connecting two stories 
by remarks that may either be called 
an epilogue to the preceding or a pro- 
logue to the following, has been noted 
above (737 (I)). 

2 William prefers " contribules," 
as being better Latin than "compro- 
vinciales." Both are rare words ; but 
the latter is the rarer, the former is an 
old word revived by the Fathers. 

^ "Obruerat," probably an error 
for " obrueret," the imperf. subjunct. 
being frequent, in these treatises, with 
"dum (while)," whereas the pluperf. 
indie, is very rare. 




Benedict (ii. 238-9) 

deep pool in an ironstone 
quarry, overwhelming with 
stones (as boys will) the 
frogs that rose to the sur- 
face, happened to fall in, and 
was himself in turn over- 
whelmed by the waters.^ 

(2) When his father, on 
coming home, could not find 
the boy, he looked for him 
in every direction. At last 
he finds him under the water, 
and draws him out while 
the sun was setting, distended 
by the abundance of the 
water [he had swallowed], 
and, as he [still] believes, 

(3) The corpse was 
carried into the house : the 

William (i. 200-2) 

stones (as boys will) a frog 
that rose from the mud to 
the surface, continuing his 
attempts without circum- 
spection, was himself in turn 
overwhelmed by the waters. 

(2) When his father, on 
coming home, could not find 
the boy, he looked for him 
everywhere [at home] and 
[also] in different farms. 
He found him under the 
water, and drew him out, 
dead, and distended by the 
abundance of the water [he 
had swallowed]. It was now 
inclining towards twilight. 

(3) So the father gave 
vent to sighs and groans, the 

dinam profundam et aqua repletam 
bufones emergentes studio puerili 
lapidibus obnieret, casu incidens et 
ipse aquis obrutus est.^ 

(2) Quern quum pater domum 
veniens non invenisset, quaquaversum 
quaesitum, reperit tandem aqua sub- 
mersum, et extrahit, occidente jam sole, 
aqua multa distentum, et ut adhuc 
credit exanimem. 

(3) Infertur in domum cadaver ; 

specte prosecutus et ipse aquis obrutus 

(2) Quem cum pater domum veniens 
non invenisset, ubique et villitim 
quaesitum, reperit aqua submersum ; et 
extraxit mortuum, et aqua multa 
distentum. Vergebat jam dies in 

( 3 ) Igitur pater suspiriis et gemitu[i]. 

* " Et ipse "seems to mean "in 
retribution for his treatment of the 
frogs." He had " overwhelmed " them 
with showers of stones : now, " he 
himself, too," was ♦' overwhelmed " in 
the flood. 




Benedict (ii. 238-9) 
people flock in, expressing 
their sympathy with the 
agonising grief of the parents. 
They try — but all in vain 
— whether human exertions 
might possibly in some 
respect avail the child. 

The boy's coat, which 
happened to be very wide, 
big enough for two boys — 
since it could not be taken 
off, being so tightly filled 
by the distension of the 
stomach — they rip from top 
to bottom. They hang him 
up head downwards, and beat 
the soles of his feet. But no 
water flowed out, so they 
quite gave up hope. Finally, 
the boy was stretched out on 
a table, a fire lit at each end 
of the room, and watch kept 
till morning. 

William (i. 200-2) 

mother to tears and wailing. 
They take the first steps that 
are supposed expedient in 
such cases. 

The coat was ripped up, 
since, owing to the distension 
of the body, it could not be 
drawn off; they beat the 
soles of the feet and hang 
up the corpse head down- 
wards ; but they give up 
hope, for no water flowed 
out. And when they found 
all this labour of no avail, 
placing some planks under 
him, they light a fire at each 
end of the room, and pass 
the night without sleep. 

vulgus glomeratur in unum et anxio 
parentum dolori compatitur ; tentatur 
conatu inutili si ei posset in aliquo 
sedulitas humana succurrere. Tunica 
pueri lata valde, duorumque puerorum 
capax, quia ventre distento impleta 
exui non poterat, a summo usque 
deorsum scinditur. Suspendunt 

puerum a pedibus ; plantas tundunt, 
sed aqua non effluente, a spe sua 
decidunt. Extentus deinde puer 
super tabulam, accenso hinc inde foco, 
usque mane custoditur. 

mater lacrymis indulget et planctui. 
Prima quae ad hujusmodi expedire 
putantur exsequuntur. Tunica scissa, 
quae propter distensionem corporis 
detrahi non poterat, contundentes 
plantas cadaver a pedibus suspendunt ; 
sed cadunt a spe sua, non effluente 
aqua. Et cum nihil hac praevalerent 
industria, substementes ei tabulatum, 
hinc inde focum accendunt, et sine 
somno spatia noctis transmittunt. 




Benedict (ii. 238-9) 

(4) But at sunrise, by 
the mother's advice, they 
sent to the next village (or, 
farm), and fetched the Water 
of St. Thomas the Martyr. 
Opening the closed mouth 
and fast-clenched teeth with 
a spindle or some such thing, 
she happened to put in her 
finger ; and, as the spindle 
slipped out, the finger was 
caught fast and almost 
pierced to the bone by the 
meeting teeth. Hearing her 
cry out, the father placed 
a small knife between [the 
teeth] : but, before he could 
extricate her finger from their 
grip, he had to break two 
front teeth, those called 
" incisive." * 

William (i. 200-2) 

(4) At sunrise, by advice 
of the mother — whose anxiety 
made her more earnest^ for 
action — the Water of St. 
Thomas was fetched from 
the next village (or, farm). 
Desiring, herself with her 
own hands, to pour it in 
between the child's cold lips, 
and unfastening (with the 
aid of a spindle) the closed 
mouth and fast - clenched 
teeth, she happened, along 
with the spindle, to insert 
her finger too : but, as the 
spindle slipped out, the 
finger was caught fast and 
almost pierced to the bone 
by the meeting teeth. Hear- 
ing her cry out, the father 
applied a small knife to [the 

(4) Orto vero sole, matris consilio 
ad villain proximam missum est, et 
aqua beati martyris Thomae allata est. 
Quumque mater clausum os pueri 
dentesque cohaerentes, fiiso quodam 
intruso, disjunxisset, casu immisit et 
digitum : resiliente autem fuso digitus 
interceptus est, et dentibus concurrenti- 
bus fere transHxus. Clamante ilia 
interponit pater cultellum ; sed, ante- 
quam interceptum mulieris digitum 
possit eripere, duos dentes anteriores, 
qui incisivi dicuntur, confringit.^ 

(4) Orto sole, consilio matris, cujus 
diligentior * erat sollicitudo, a proxima 
villa allata est aqua sancti Thomae ; 
quam cum propriis manibus ipsa gelidis 
labiisinstillaresatageret, fusiquesuffragio 
clausum os dentesque cohaerentes dis- 
jungeret, cum fuso immisit et digitum. 
Sed resiliente fuso interceptus est digitus, 
dentibusque concurrentibus fere trans- 
iixus. Et cum clamaret, apposuit 

' The teeth in front of the "canines " 
are now called "incisors." William 
has " praecisores," which does not 

* We may supply "than the 
&ther." But it may mean "specially, 
or unusually (earnest)." 




Benedict (ii. 238-9) 

(5) Others, who were 
standing by, desired to have 
a priest called to say a funeral 
mass for the boy, that the 
boy might be buried ; but 
the father loudly refused, 
saying, " So may God help 
me, as St Thomas, if he will 
not restore him to me here 
alive, shall have him at 
Canterbury dead. For I will 
either lead him thither alive 
or carry him dead.* In no 
wise shall he be buried here." 

(6) So the first time, and 
the second time, the Water, 

William (i. 200-2) 

teeth], and struck out two 
front teeth, those called 
" praecisors." 

(5) William omits this: 
but see (9). 

(6) When therefore the 
health -bestowing drop was 

(5) Volentibus aliis qui astabant ut 
presbyter vocaretur, ut fierent pro 
puero exsequiae, ut puer sepeliretur, 
reclamavit pater dicens, "Adjuvet me 
ita Deus, nisi eum beatus Thomas 
hie mihi restituerit vivum, habebit 
ilium Cantuariae mortuum. IIIuc enim 
eum vel vivum ducam vel mortuum 
portabo ; * nequaquam hie sepelietur. " 

(6) Et semel igitur et secundo aqua 

pater cultellum, et duos dentes anteri- 
ores, qui praecisores dicuntur, excussit. 
(S) om. 

(6) Cum ergo primo stilla salutaris 

correspond to anything now, or perhaps 
ever, in use: it would mean "teeth 
cutting off abruptly." " Confringit," 
"breaks (perforce)," i.e. "has to 

* These words are very similar to 
those of the knight Jordan (736). 




Benedict (ii. 238-9) 

poured into [the mouth], 
finding no penetrable chan- 
nels, flowed back again. On 
the third injection, by the 
Divine will, it went down 
into the inner parts, and 
suddenly the muscles seemed 
to move. The boy unfolds 
his hand, which was before 
clenched : after unfolding it, 
he by degrees draws it to- 
wards him ; he opens one 

(7) In inexpressible joy 
the father cried, " My son, 
do you wish to live ? " 
"Father," he replied, "I do 
wish [it]." ' 

William (i. 2CX3-2) 

first poured into [the mouth], 
finding no pervious passages, 
it began to flow back again. 
But on the third occasion, 
the faith and devotion of the 
parents caused it to flow in ; 
and the muscles seemed to 
move ; and the boy began 
to draw his hand towards 
him, and to open one eye. 

(7) Leaping from his 
seat, the father asked him 
whether he could live, and he 
replied, " I wish to live." 

infusa meatus pervios non inveniens 
refluxit ; tertio injecta, nutu divino in 
interiora descendit, visaeque sunt subito 
fibrae moveri ; puer manum prius 
clausam explicat, explicatam paulatim 
attrahit, alteram oculorum ap)erit. 

(7) Pater inexplicabiliter laetus, 
"Visne,"* ait, " fili, vivere ? " 
" Volo,"* inquit, "pater mi." 

infiinderetur, non pervios commeatus 
inveniens refluebat. Sed tertia vice 
fides et devotio parentum obtinuit ut 
influeret, visaeque sunt fibrae moveri, et 
coepit puer manum attrahere, et alterum 
oculorum aperire. 

(7) Exsiliente patre et interrogante 
utrumnam vivere posset, respondit 
" Volo vivere." 

* "Vis "and "volo "are difficult. 
We should have expected " Art thou 
indeed alive, or, going to live ? " 

Can some confiision have arisen 
from the Old French " Vis tu de voire ? 
Dost thou live in truth ? " or from 
a misrendering of " vas (going to)"? A 
translator may have mistranslated Bene- 
dict's (404a) French, and William may 
have nartlvhind wrongly) corrected him. 



55 741 

Benedict (ii. 238-9) 
(8) Those who were 
present crowded round, still 
lamenting, however, the 
frightful inflation of the 
stomach : but by degrees 
the stomach subsided and 
recovered its natural sym- 
metry and condition before 
the eyes of all, and this though 
not a drop of water flowed 
forth from the body above 
or below. 

(9) That this [boy] there- 
fore, as well [as Cecilia],*' was 

William (i. 200-2) 

(8) Wonderful is the 
Lord, and there is no 
numbering his mercies : for 
first he restored what was 
absent [i.e. life], and subse- 
quently consumed what was 
superabundantly present [i.e. 

For while those who 
were present were lamenting 
the inflation of the stomach, 
the stomach began by de- 
grees to reduce its swelling 
before their eyes, and to re- 
cover its natural size and con- 
dition, and this in such a way 
that not a drop of the imbibed 
waters flowed forth from the 
body, either from the parts 
above or from those below. 

(9) In this narrative we 
are telling the actual fact — 

(8) Circumstantibus qui aderant, at 
de horrido ventris tumore adhuc in- 
gemiscentibus, paulatim venter subsidit, 
omnibusque intuentibus naturalem 
gracilitatem statumque recepit, ita 
tamen quod a corpore nee gutta aquae 
superius inferiusve profluxit. 

(9) Et hunc ergo^ proculdubio 

(8) Mirabilis Dominus, et miseri- 
cordiarum ejus non est numerus, qui 
quod non erat primo restituit, et con- 
sequenter quod erat ex abundanti 
consumpsit. Nam ipsis qui aderant de 
tumore ventris ingemiscentibus, coepit 
venter in oculis eorum paulatim 
detumere, naturalemque grossitudinem 
et statum recipere, ut nee gutta bibi- 
torum fluctuum superior! vel regione 
inferiori proflueret a corpore. 

(9) Haec dicimus rem gestam nar- 

^ ** As well," i.e. as well as Cecilia, 
mentioned in the last narrative. 
Benedict said, at the end of the story 




Benedict (ii. 238-9) 

undoubtedly dead, we have 
ascertained not only from the 
testimony of the father but 
also from that of very many 
others — and indeed finally 
by a testifying letter from 
his Priest. 

William (i. 200-2) 

not magnifying by figments v 
of our own the mighty works 
of God, which need no such 
aid — as we learned it from 
the boy's father in person 
when he offered up thanks 
in company with the boy : 
for, as he repeatedly said, if 
St. Thomas had not restored 
him alive, he would have 
conveyed him dead from his 
neighbourhood to his [the 
Saint's] resting-place.^ 

[742] The last sentence explains the close similarity 
between the two narratives in many passages. Where they 
agree, the two probably used the Priest's " testifying letter," 
Benedict makes more use of the letter, and hence inserts 

fiiisse mortuum, non solum patris sui 
sed et aliorum plurimorum assertione, 
tandem vero et presbyteri sui litteris 
testimonioque, cognovimus. 

rantes, non figmento nostro magnalia 
Dei, quae non ^ent hujusmodi, 
magnificantes, sicut ab ipso parente 
pueri cum puero gratias agente didici- 
mus ; qui, sicut aiebat, nisi beatus 
Thomas vivum eum restituisset, de 
partibus suis ad locum requietionis 
ejus mortuum transvexisset.' 

of the knight Jordan (737 (i)) that he 
would append two other instances of 
revivification. He now claims that 
death, in this instance, is proved no less 
conclusively than in the last. 

'• Therefore (ergo) " seems to mean 
"because of the miraculous evanescence 
of the water," which made it natural 
to believe that the whole event was 
miraculous. The sentence is confused : 
but that this is the meaning is made 
likelv by William's remarks (741 (8)). 

* " Ad locum requietionis ejus " has 
this meaning also in 758 (3) (William). 

William places here, as uttered at 
Canterbury, what Benedict records (741 
(5)) as uttered at home. 


(741 (5)) the advice to send for the Priest, beside calling 
attention to it at the end. 

[743] William — laying more stress on a few striking 
words and very small details in the evidence of the father 
(and perhaps of the child, whom he alone mentions as 
coming to Canterbury) — tells us that the boy was " sitting " 
at the edge of an ironstone pit (presumably with his legs 
dangling over) and that he was pelting a frog, not (as 
Benedict) " frogs " ; and that the father sought the boy 
" from farm to farm." Perhaps it is from the same source, 
and not from the nature of things, that William tells us how 
the father " groaned," while the mother " wept," and that 
the latter was " more anxiously restless " than the former. 
Again, the Priest would say that the instrument used by 
the mother to open the mouth was "quidam fusus," "some 
sort of spindle," or " something of the nature of a spindle " ; 
but the father would say definitely " spindle " ; the Priest 
would report what the father actually said when the proposal 
was made to bury the boy in the churchyard, viz. " I will 
bury him at Canterbury if at all " ; but the father, giving 
thanks afterwards at Canterbury, might tell William that he 
would have buried him at Canterbury : and this may explain 
why William ends his narrative with these words. 

S I o. Elias, a monk of Reading, after \J>retending to] resort 
to Bath for the cure of leprosy, is cured by St. Thomas 

[744] Benedict (? see note i ) A monk of Reading (see 

(ii. 242-3) note i) (i. 416-7) 

(i) Let any one go to (i) Elias, a monk of 

the holy convent^ of Reading, Reading, suffered from 

(i) Sanctum Radingensis ecclesiae (i) Radingensis ecclesiae mona- 

conveniat conventum ^ qui monachi sui chus Helyas lepra vel morphea labora- 

1 Note the play on "conveniat" 
"conventum." Al. "conventui." 




Benedict (ii. 242-3) ? 
who would fain know the 
disease of the monk Elias 
and the manner of its healing. 
A frightful leprosy had 
attacked him — so it was 
asserted by many of the 
highest skill in medicine ; it 
was proved by his eyes, 
dropping and flowing with 
rheum, by the ulcers on his 
limbs, and the scales on his 
whole body. (You might 
have seen his bed covered 
with them when he rose in 
the morning.) The [exact] 

A Monk of Reading (i. 416-7) 

leprosy or morphew ^ — so 
full of ulcers that he might 
have been called a second 
Lazarus ; for, from the sole 
of his foot to the crown of 
his head, there was not a 
spot spared by the host of 
tubers or ulcers. 

Helyae et morbum modumque cura- 
tionis ejus nosse desiderat. Horrida 
lepra percussum ilium dicebant multi, 
maxime medicinalis artis periti : indicio 
erant oculi lacrymosi atque fluentes, 
ulcerosa membra, corpus totum squa- 
mosum ; mane quando surgebat, lectum 
ejus squamis videres contectum. Ipsis 

bat,* sic ulcerosus ut Lazarus alter 
diceretur; nam a planta pedis ejus 
usque ad verticem capitis non erat vel 
minimus in eo locus cui tuberum turba 
vel ulcerum pepercisset. 

The whole narrative is more in 
William's style than in Benedict's. 

' This was probably not written by 
William but by a monk of Reading, 
whose letter William has adopted with- 
out alteration or preface, except that 
he inserted the words *' A monk of 
Reading." See note 5, below. 

The monk indicates a doubt whether 
this was a case of leprosy : the account 
in Benedict's treatise says there was 
no doubt of it among experts. The 
difference indicates that the case had 
excited attention and discussion at 

" Morphew " is used by Elizabethan 
writers to represent Fr. morfhU, a 
scurfy eruption. 




Benedict (ii. 242-3) ? 

description of it I leave to 
the monks themselves,^ for 
what is manifest needs no 

(2) This brother, there- 
fore, being in extreme pain,' 
and not knowing how to 
come to St. Thomas — for 
he feared that if he asked 
leave the Abbot would refuse 
it — at last obtained leave 
under pretence of a journey 
to the hot baths of the City 
of Bath. 

A Monk of Reading (i. 416-7) 

(2) Thinking that hot 
baths might do him good 
and that his pains might be 
mitigated by the heat of 
sulphur, he spent forty days 
at the baths of [the City of] 

But inasmuch as he set 
his hope on hot sulphur, and 
not on the wonder-working 
Martyr whom the Lord 

Dei servis ^ descriptioneni ejus relinquo ; 
res manifesta enim probatione non 

(2) Anxius' itaque frater ille, et 
quomodo ad beatum Thomam veniret 
nescius (metuebat enim ne postulant! 
sibi ab abbate suo negaretur licentia), 
itinere tandem ad balnea calida 
Bathoniensis urbis simulate licentiam 

(2) Existimans autem calidis balneis 
sibi posse subveniri, suumque per 
sulphureum calorem mitigandum 
dolorem, abiens balneis Batensibus 
xl. diebus incubuit. Sed quia spem 
posuit in calido sulphure, non in mirifico 
martyre quern Dominus vulneravit 

2 Lit. "to the servants of God 
themselves," i.e. his fellow monks. 

These remarks indicate that some 
doubted whether the disease was true 
leprosy. The writer, while clearly 
believing that it was leprosy, sends the 
doubter to the monks for a "descriptio," 
or scientific description. The enume- 
ration of the symptoms is natural for 
William, who elsewhere has a learned 
discussion on different kinds of leprosy 
(767 (8)). 

' " Anxius " has this meaning else- 
where in these treatises. 




Benedict (ii. 242-3)? 

(3) He was to go west- 
ward : but he turned back and 
went eastward, to the city 
of the newly-risen Martyr. 

This was the time when 
the glory of the Martyr was 
beginning to display itself 
in his earliest miracles ; 
while the storm -blast still 
lasted * — before Iniquity had 

A Monk of Reading (i. 416-7) 
wounded for our iniquities 
that we might be healed by 
his stripes," he was not as 
yet counted worthy of better 
health. So when he had 
spent on physicians all that 
he could collect, [then] — like 
the woman in the Gospel 
who was counted worthy to 
touch the border of the Lord's 
vesture — he began to sigh 
[for a journey] to the Martyr. 
(3) William omits this. 

(3) Ad occidentem perrecturus, 
reflexo gressu ad orientem tetendit, ad 
nuper orti martyris urbem. Erat 
autem hoc cum primis martyr coru- 
scaret miraculis ; dum adhuc staret * 

propter iniquitates nostras, ut ejus 
livore^ sanaremur, nondum meliorari 
promeruit. Postquam itaque erogavit 
in medicos quicquid corrogare poterat, 
tanquam mulier evangelica quae 
fimbriam Dominici vestimenti tangere 
meruit, ad martyrem suspirabat. 
(3) om. 

♦ " Staret," of a fixed wind, 
less it is an error for " flaret." 

Un- * "Livore," lit. "black and blue 

marks." Comp. Is. liii. 5. 




Benedict (ii. 242-3)? 
shut her mouth, before any 
one dared publicly to speak 
of the mighty works of the 
Lord, before many came and 
" went up " to the Martyr of 
the Lord and " to the house 
of the God of Jacob " (Micah 
iv. 2). And hence this 
narrative might have been 
written among the earliest of 
the Martyr's illustrious signs, 
had it not been put off till 
now, either through forgetful- 
ness, or for the sake of inquiry 
and ascertainment. 

(4) The writer omits this. 

A Monk of Reading (i. 416-7) 

(4) So, under pretence 
of seeking medicinal aid, he set 
out for London ' — because ^ 

spiritus procellae, antequam os suum 
oppilasset iniquitas, antequam publice 
loqueretur quis potentias Domini, ante- 
quam multi venirent et ascenderent ad 
martyrem Domini et ad domum Dei 
Jacob ; unde et istud inter prima 
martyris insignia conscribi potuit, nisi 
vel oblivione vel inquisitionis et certitu- 
dinis causa usque in praesens dilatum 
(4) om. 

(4) Igitur sub obtentu quaerendae 
medicinae Londonias^ profectus, qua* 

3 "Londonias": the sense rather 
demands "Londoniis": — on pretence 
of seeking medicine in London he set 
out [for Canterbury]. But the writer 
probably means " he set out for 
London [duf really to go through 
London to Canterbury\" 

* The translation adopts the 
Editor's "quia" for "qua." 




Benedict (ii. 242-3) ? 

(5) Well, the monk was 
met by a knight between 
whom and himself there was 
a strong mutual affection. 
When the knight asked and 
heard whither his friend was 
journeying, he dissuaded him, 
saying, " Go not, dear sir, go 
not to Canterbury, lest, if 
the great lords hear of it, 
you bring evil on your con- 
vent. See, I carry with me 
Water of St. Thomas the 
Martyr. Taste on this spot, 

A Monk of Reading (i. 416-7) 

our ^ Abbot did not [at that 
time] pay adequate respect 
to the Martyr, and would 
not give his monks leave to 
go on pilgrimage [to him] — 
expecting to steal time 
enough for going as a pilgrim 
to Canterbury. 

(5) Meanwhile, as some 
pilgrims were returning from 
the Martyr's memorial, he 
begged for his Water, drank it. 

(5) Obviavit itaque monacho miles 
quern diligebat, plurimum dilectus ab 
ipso. Quaesivit quo tenderet, audivit, 
disuasit : " Noli," inquit, " domine mi, 
noli Cantuariam proficisci, ne, si inter 
magnates auditum fuerit, inducas super 
ecclesiam tuam malum. Ecce, aquam 
sancli martyris Thomae porto ; hie 

citra quam decebat abbas noster* 
martyri deferebat, suis peregrinari non 
permittens, peregrinandi Cantuariam 
furtivum tempus exspectabat. 

(5) Interim redeuntibus peregrinis 
a memoria martyris, aquam ejus petiit, 

6 "Our" indicates that the writer 
ii a monk of Reading 




Benedict (ii. 242-3) ? 
if you will. On this spot 
will the merciful Martyr be 
able to give car to your 

The monk alights from 
his horse, prostrates himself 
on the earth in adoration of 
the Water, tastes [it], washes 
his face [in it] — to the best 
of my remembrance^ — after 
having first washed [his 
heart] in streams of tears. 

(6) Afterwards, turning 
aside to St. Edmund the 
Martyr,^ he obtained from a 

A Monk of Reading (i. 416-7) 

(6) The monk omits this. 

gusta, si volueris ; hie te poterit 
martjnris exaudire benignitas." De- 
scendit de equo monachus, aquam 
in terra pronus adorat, gustat, faciem 
(ut memini)^ la vat, lacrymis prius 
lotus uberrimis. 

(6) Deinde ad beatum martyrem 
divertens Eadmundum,^ a quodam 

(6) om. 

* These details are such as Elias 
alone would be likely to give, and they 
may have been given by him later on 
to the monk in charge of the Martyr's 
tomb. They are described more in 
the style of William than of Benedict : 
comp. 674, " ^ / remember right, 
Walter, etc." 

^ Presumably, Elias had more faith 
in a pilgrimage than in the Water, and 
thought that, if he" could not go to the 
new Martyr, it would be well to try the 
old one : but the writer appears to 
regard the fact as an instance of man's 
ends being " shaped " by Providence. 
Elias went to St. Edmund: but cure 
came through St. Thomas. 




Benedict (iL 242-3) ? 
friend of his a strip [from 
the clothes] of the Martyr 
Thomas, tinged with his 
blood. This he squeezed out 
in water, [with which] he 
washed his infected body, 

(7) and cleansed away 
the leprosy. After some 
days,^ therefore, he came 
home, and his friends received 
him, absolutely free from 

(8) The wonderful change 
led the Abbot to suspect 
that he had not been to Bath 
but to Canterbury, and he 
asked him how he had 
been cured. At first, Elias 
feared to confess. But by 
kindness of voice and manner 

A Monk of Reading (i. 416-7) 

(7) and recovered his 
health, so that he retains not 
a trace of the disease, but 
has a most agreeable counten- 
ance, as all may ^ see. 

amico suo pannum martyris Thomae 
cniore tinctum obtinuit, quo in aqua 
expressOj corpus tabidum lavit, 

(7) lepram abluit. Post aliquot 
igitur dies ' domum venit, et sui eum re- 
ceperunt, nihil prorsus mali habentem. 

(8) Suspicatur abbas ex mira leprosi 
corporis mutatione Cantuariam ilium 
perrexisse, non Bathoniam ; quae- 
rensque qualiter curatus fuerit, confiteri 
metuentem vultu sereniore alloquitur, et 

(7) et convaluit, adeo ut morbi 
vestigia non retineat, sed vultu gratio- 
sus, sicut videntibus liquet,* apporeat. 

^ "After some days." Why did 
he delay ? Perhaps to disarm the 
suspicion of a miraculous cure. He 
had received leave to go to Bath for a 
medical cure, which would take time: 
he had not received leave to be 
miraculously cured in a moment. 

* This confirms the view (see note 
5) that the writer was one of the monks 
of Reading, among whom Elias was 
residing at the time when this letter 
was written. 


Benedict (ii. 242-3)? 
the Abbot at last elicited the 
method of the cure, which he 
accepted in all faith and 

[745] The conclusion to be drawn from the interesting 
differences between the two preceding narratives is that 
Monk Elias was not a veracious person. He probably told 
his Abbot that he had been to Bath and that he had spent 
forty days there and a great deal of money, and subsequently 
told him that he intended to go to London whereas he really 
intended to go to Canterbury. On the other hand he told 
the monk in charge of the Martyr's tomb that he had never 
gone really to Bath, but had merely pretended to go ; he 
had intended to come to St. Thomas the Martyr, but, having 
received, on the way, the Water of the new Martyr, he 
thought he could use his leave of absence by going to the 
shrine of the old Martyr St. Edmund. No doubt, he said 
to the monks at Canterbury that he had confessed his fraud 
to the Abbot of Reading. So he had, in part ; but he had 
not made a clean breast of it. If he did not really go to 
Bath, what account was he to give of the money spent 
during these forty expensive days ? Perhaps the Abbot had 
paid it. If so, would he not want it back again ? These 
considerations (and others) may have induced Elias, when 
confessing much, not to confess all. And hence the two 

[746] Such unveracities would not greatly affect our 
belief in the cure. That Elias was grievously ill and rapidly 
recovered, may be accepted as satisfactorily proved. But 
whether the disease was leprosy or not ; whether the cure 
resulted simply from the emotional shock produced by the 

tandem modum curationis ejus audit et 
admiratione plenus credit. 

§747 HIS MIRACLES i79 

Water of St. Thomas ; or whether the strip of St. Thomas's 
vesture also contributed to it ; whether the shrine of St 
Edmund might allege a reasonable claim ; and whether the 
effect of forty days at Bath or elsewhere, with fresh air, and 
travelling, had something to do with the result : — these 
questions must be left unsettled. Only our suspicions of 
Elias's character must not lead us to deny the possibility of 
an intense and (for the purpose) efficacious faith. He may 
not have believed in veracity : but he may have believed in 
the Water of St. Thomas. 

[746a] The narrative in Benedict's treatise was probably 
not written by Benedict. Notes i, 2, and 5 give reasons for 
thinking that it may have been written by William, during the 
period when the latter was (415) assisti?tg the former. If 
this was the case, it is easy to understand why William, when 
compiling a book of his own, resorted to a letter from a 
Reading monk. He did not care to repeat the account 
already given to the world in Benedict's treatise, although it 
was of his own composition. Close and continuous verba- 
tim agreement is never found in the two Books on Miracles 
except where two narratives are derived from one letter. 
In this case, William may have thought that, next to repeat- 
ing his own story, the best course was to transcribe the letter 
on which it was based. See also 754«7. 

§11. Queen Eleanor^ s Foundling 

[747] Benedict (ii. 245) William (i. 213-4) 

(i) Eleanor, Queen of (i) Eleanor, the venera- 

the English, found an out- ble Queen of England, finding 
cast infant and committed a little child cast forth on 

(i) In£u)tein abjectum invenit (i) Invenit venerabilis regina 

Alienor Anglorum regina et episcopo Angliae Alienor parvulum unum in via 




Benedict (ii. 245) 
its breeding and training to 
Godfrey Bishop of St. Asaph. 
The boy was taught letters.^ 

(2) After a few years he 
was covered from head to 
foot by a foul leprosy. They 
separated him from inter- 
course with the scholars ; and, 
at last, by the decision of the 
Bishop himself, he was pre- 
vented from entering the 
court of Abingdon. 

(3) In the course of four 
years the tubers on his face 
grew more and more nume- 
rous and prominent, and his 
whole body more and more 

William (i. 213-4) 
the road, abandoned by his 
mother, gave charge that he 
should be reared in the mon- 
astery of Abingdon. When 
he had spent several years 
there learning letters, 

(2) he was seized with 
a disease of the nature of 
elephantiasis and removed 
from the school and the 
monastery by the command 
of Godfrey, Bishop of St. 
Asaph, who managed the 
monastery's affairs. 

(3) For the tuberous 
face, the running eyes, the 
broad ulcers on the arms and 
thighs, so deep as to go down 
to the bones, provoked nausea 
[in those who saw him] ; his 
hoarse voice scarcely reached 

de Sancto Asaph Godefrido educandum 
commisit. Ad literas ^ puer applicatur. 

(2) Post annos paucos sordida lepra 
totus obvolvitur ; segregatur a com- 
munione scholarium, tandemque ipsius 
episcopi sententia ab introitu curiae 
Abindoniensis arcetur. 

(3) Tractu annorum quatuor tubera 
in facie magis magisque excrescunt, 
totumque corpus magis magisque tabe- 

projectum, materno gremio destitutum, 
et praecepit quod in coenobio Aben- 
doniae nutriretur. Ubi cum plures 
annos litteras discens explesset, 

(2) elephantico morbo correptus, 
amotus est a scholis et a coenobio, 
jubente episcopo Godefrido de Sancto 
Asaph, qui res coenobii ministrabat. 

(3) Facies enim tuberosa, oculi flu- 
entes, rara supercilia, ulcera brachiorum 
et femorum lata, et ad ossa pertingentia, 
nauseam provocabant. Vox rauca vix 

1 " Letters," i.e. a lettered, or libe- 
ral, education. 




Benedict (ii. 245) 

(4) In secret, the boy 
departs, flees to the Martyr, 
is purified by flux of the 
stomach, comes back in sound 

William (i. 213-4) 
those who were standing 
close at hand ; his bandages 
had to be changed daily, or at 
least every other day, owing 
to the flow of matter. All 
these things deterred people 
from living and holding inter- 
course with him. 

(4) Trusting, however, in 
the compassion and merits of 
St Thomas, whom the grace 
of heaven deigned to glorify 
in the healing of similar 
diseases, he set out for Canter- 
bury. On the way, in ex- 
cessive purgation of the 
stomach, he felt a beginning 
of his cure. Furthermore, 
after two days, returning from 
the tomb of St. Thomas, he 
brought back the [mere] 
vestiges of the now healed 

(4) Clam puer abscedit, ad marty- 
rem convolat, ventris fluxu mundatur, 
sospes r^reditur. 

ad aures prope stantis perveniens, panni 
quoque singulis diebus vel alternis 
propter saniem efBuentem mutandi, 
convictum et cohabitationem dissuade- 

(4) Confidens autem adolescens 
de misericordia meritisque beati 
Thomae, quem supema dignatio glori- 
ficabat in consimilibus, Cantuariam 
proficiscens obiter in nimio ventris 
obsequio curationis suae praesensit 
initia. Porro post biduum rediens a 
tumba Sancti Thomae sanati vestigia 
morbi domum reiwrtavit. 




Benedict (ii. 245) 

(5) On his return, his 
acquaintances were amazed 
at his face so altered, the 
leprosy so annihilated, the 
tubers so banished, the flesh 
so like a child's. 

Up to that time, the 
Bishop had remained incredu- 
lous of the reports about 
the Martyr's power. But 
when he saw thus cleansed 
the boy whom he had seen 
before a leper, whom he had 
ejected from the court [at 
Abingdon], whom he had 
[actually] loathed — he was 
compelled to believe that St. 
Thomas was [indeed] of high 
merit, venerable excellence, 
and marvellous power. What 

William (i. 213-4) 

(5) One day, while the 
Bishop was walking up and 
down, the boy caught hold 
of his gown, and said that he 
had been cleansed by the 
merits of St. Thomas of 
Canterbury. Not recognizing 
him after his sudden trans- 
formation, the Bishop asked 
who he was and what was 
his name. By uttering his 
name, he at the same time 
defined who he was, to the 
utter astonishment of him 
whom he was addressing. 
Well, after considering the 
issue of the affair, and the 
length of the disease (for it 
had been gathering strength 
for two years), the Bishop 
consulted the physicians ; and 
then, when he could by no 
possibility refute those who 
asserted his recovery — and 

(5) In reditu ipsius obstupescunt, 
qui eum noverunt, sic alteratam ejus 
faciem, sic lepram annullatam, sic 
evanuisse tubera, sic camem ejus re- 
floruisse. Usque ad tempus illud in- 
credulus exstiterat episcopus his quae 
dicebantur de martyre. Videns autera 
mundatum puerum, quem viderat ante 
leprosum, quem de curia ejecerat, quem 
abhorruerat, credere compulsus est 
beatum Thomam magni esse meriti, 
excellentiae venerandae, mirandae po- 

(5) Qui cum una dierum episcopum 
deambulantem per vestem apprehen- 
disset, ait se per merita beati Thomae 
Cantuariae mundatum. Episcopus 
vero subito transformatum non agno- 
scens, personam et nomen interrogat. 
Ille nomen edicit, eademque responsione 
personam determinat, stupidum reddens 
quem compellabat. Igitur episcopus, 
eventum rei considerans, et diuturnitatem 
morbi, qui per biennium invaluerat, 
consultis medicis, postquam sanitatis 




Benedict (ii. 245) 

is more, the Bishop of Salis- 
bury, on seeing the boy, was 
converted to the love of the 

William (i. 213-4) 

indeed the evidence of his 
own eyes,^ — he recalled him 
from his outcast condition to 
the court of the monastery 
and to general intercourse. 

Moreover he brought the 
boy along with him, when 
coming to the Martyr's tomb 
to pray, and exhibited him 
to public view. 

[748] The two accounts do not appear to borrow from 
any common document William's, which is the later and 
was written after the Bishop of St. Asaph had come to 
Canterbury, is not, in appearance, so severe upon the Bishop 
as Benedict's is. Indeed, William perhaps borrows from the 
Bishop the details about the boy's disease, which made it 

tentiae. Sed et episcopus Saresberiensis, 
eodem viso, ad martyrem diligendum 
animum convertit. 

illius assertoribus ^ et fidelibus oculis 
refragari non potuit, abjectum in curtim 
coenobii et convictum popularem re- 
vocavit ; quem et secum pariter, ad 
tumbam martyris veniens oratum, vi- 
dendum exbibuit. 

' In " sanitatis illius assertoribus," 
"illius" is hardly needed, but we almost 
need " illis," if the " assertores " are 
the physicians. Perhaps they are not. 
The text leaves it doubtful. The 
" faithful eyes " may mean •' the fidelity 
of his own eyes," but it may be ironic- 
ally used about the eyes of the physicians, 
which the Bishop regarded as pre- 
eminently "faithful." William, who 
loses no opportunity of attacking 
physicians, is here manifestly scoffing 
at the Bishop — so ready to believe in 
them, so unready to believe in St. 


necessary to remove him from the convent But while also 
fully giving an account of the Bishop's cautious deliberation 
before giving his adhesion to St. Thomas, he apparently 
indulges in a little irony at his expense. Benedict's tone is 
one of severe reproach. The Bishop was " compelled to 
believe" that St Thomas had certain powers and qualities. 
The Bishop of Salisbury began to " love " the Martyr : not 
so the Bishop of St Asaph. 

[749] The mention of (Benedict (3)) " four years " may 
be reconciled with that of (William (5)) "two years" by 
supposing that the former period includes the whole time from 
the commencement of the disease ; the latter, only the stage 
during which (long after it had become apparent) it had 
been " gathering strength." 

[750] Why did not Benedict record in its place this very 
early cure of leprosy, which almost certainly took place 
before the end of 1 1 7 1 ? Probably the boy had returned, as 
he came, " in secret " ; and so the miracle was not recorded at 
the time in the Cathedral archives. Benedict may have been 
informed of it by letter some time afterwards. The style is 
rather more terse than that of most of Benedict's narratives. 

§ 12. Geoffrey, a monk of Reading, is restored, when hi 

[751] Benedict (ii. 251-2) William (i. 210-1) 

(i) Benedict omits this. (i) Let the church of 

Shrewsbury ^ and Reading 
declare, without labour of 
mine, what propitiation it 
found in the Martyr. 

( I ) om. { I ) Dicat absque labore meo Salopes- 

beriensis * et Radingensis ecclesia quid 
propitiationis invenerit in martyre. 

* This Preface introduces two 
miracles, one of which is attested by a 



Benedict (ii. 251-2) 

(2) Geoffrey, a monk of 
Reading, being suddenly at- 
tacked by a very violent dis- 
ease, and brought, as was 
supposed, to extremity, was 
deprived of the use of all his 
senses and limbs. 

William (i. 210-1) 

" To the venerable Lord 
Odo, Prior of Canterbury, 
brother Aug[ustine], a monk 
of Reading, health and much 
love in Christ. 

" We have thought it fit- 
ting to make known to your 
holiness a great and renowned 
miracle [wrought] in [our] 
house at Reading. 

(2) " For a brother of 
our congregation, Geoffrey of 
Warengford by name, an able 
man and a good singer, and 
one among the chief of our 
house — being suddenly at- 
tacked by a very violent dis- 
ease, and brought, as was 
supposed, to extremity — was 
deprived of the use of all his 
senses and limbs. 

(2) Ecclesiae Radingensis monackus 
Gaufridus, gravissima infirmitate prai- 
ventus, et ut putabatur ad extrema de- 
ductus, omnium sensuum omniumque 
membrorum corporis officio privatus est. 

"Venerabili domino Odoni, priori 
Cantuariensi, frater Aug[ustinus], Rad- 
ingensis monachus, salutem et multam 
in Christo dilectionem. 

" Dignum duximus vestrae sancti- 
tati magnum quoddam et celebre in 
dorao Radingensi pandere miraculum. 

(2) •' Nam quidam frater nostraecon- 
gregationis, Gaufridus de Warengeford 
nomine, vir fortis et bonus cantor, et 
de prioribus domus nostrae, gravissima 
infirmitate praeventus, et, ut putabatur, 
ad extrema deductus, omnium sensuum 
omniumque membrorum corporis officio 
privatus est. 

letter from Shrewsbury, which follows 
the letter from Reading. 




Benedict (ii. 251-2) 

(3) What need of many 
words ? The brethren all 
assembled to anoint him, ac- 
cording to custom, with the 
extreme unction. He com- 
municated, became speechless, 
was entirely given up. 

William (i. 2 10- 1) 

(3) " What need of many 
words ? The brethren all 
assembled to anoint him, ac- 
cording to custom, with the 
extreme unction. But when 
it came to receiving the sacred 
communion, and our Prior 
exclaimed, " Sir Geoffrey,^ 
open thy mouth to receive 
thy salvation," he desired, and 
was not able ; and yet with 
difficulty he succeeded so far 
that a very small particle was 
received within his teeth. 

" Presently, when he had 
been replaced in his bed and 
still remained in the same 
grievous condition so that we 
thought he would that same 
day depart, the Prior, after 

(3) Quidplura? convenerunt fratres 
omnes ut eum ex more oleo sanctae 
unctionis perungerent. Communicavit, 
obmutuit, penitus desperatus est : 

(3) "Quid plura? Convenerunt 
fratres omnes ut eum ex more oleo 
sanctae unctionis perungerent. Cum 
autem ad receptionem sacrae com- 
munionis perveniretur, clamante priore, 
' Domine ^ Gaufride, aperi os tuum ad 
tuae salutis susceptionem,' voluit et 
non potuit, et tamen vix obtinuit ut 
parvissima quaedam particula intra 
dentes ipsius reciperetur. Mox illo in 
proprio strato recepto, et in eadem in- 
valetudine permanente, ita ut putare- 
mus ilium eodem dieexiturum a corpore, 
non longo postmodum intervallo advenit 
prior cum paucis fratribus, tentans si 

' " Domine Gaufride." One would 
have expected "brother Geoffrey." 




Benedict (il 251-2) 

(4) Knowing absolutely 
nothing to do [for him], the 
Prior said, " If there is some 
one of you who knows that 
there is in some place at 
hand the Water of St. 
Thomas the Martyr,^ in the 
faith of Christ let him bring 
it here this moment." 

William (i. 210-1) 

no long interval, came to 
[him] with a few of the 
brethren, in the attempt to 
elicit perchance some word 
of confession from the mouth 
of the patient Absolutely 
nothing could be anticipated 
now for him except death.^ 

(4) " Knowing absolutely 
nothing to do [for him], the 
Prior asked the brethren if 
they kept among them the 
Water of St. Thomas the 
Martyr, The Water of heal- 
ing was presently brought — 
some that I had brought 
from the Martyr's memorial. 

(4) quid ageret prorsus prior 
ignorans, " O fratres," inquit, *' si est 
aliquis vestrum qui sciat alicubi aquam 
sancti martyris Thomae,' in fide 
Christi modo alferat earn." Mox 

forte aliquid verbum confessionis de ore 
ipsius infirmi exigere valeret. Nil 
prorsus de illo nisi mortem exspectare 

(4) "Quid ageret prorsus prior 
ignorans, fratres interrogat si apud se 
servaretur aqua sancti martyris Thomae. 
Mox allata est aqua salutaris, quam de 
memoria ejusdem martyris attuleram ; 

' The Abbot of Reading did not at 
this time favour St. Thomas, and any 
monk who had the Water, had it 
secretly, and was liable to be rebuked, 
comp. (744 (2)). But the Prior, being 
in despair, resorts to this question as a 
last hope, "If iome one of you should 
by chance have it in iome plcue, or even 
know that it is hidden in some place." 
A few months later, every monastery, 
even the most obscure, would have 
plenty of the Water. 

^ The meaning seems to be that 
they could not now anticipate any 
words of confession. It was the ab- 
sence of confession that drove the Prior 
to his next step. 

1 88 



Benedict (ii. 251-2) 

Presently a phial with the 
water was brought by one of 
the brothers. 

(5) After it had been 
poured into the patient's 
mouth, the string of his 
tongue was straightway 
loosed, all his senses returned 
in full strength, and all his 
limbs received their original 
health, so that he said, " I 
feel well," " 

(6) and, just afterwards, 
exclaimed in a powerful voice, 
" Thanks be to God who, 
through the merits of His 
Martyr St. Thomas, has 
perfectly delivered me from 
the evil one, who was forcibly 
constricting my throat and 

William (L 210-1) 

(5) "In the moment 
when it was poured into the 
sick man's mouth, the string 
of his tongue was straightway 
loosed, all his senses returned 
in full strength, and all his 
limbs received their original 
health, so that he said, ' I 
feel well.' 

(6) "Just afterwards, he 
exclaimed in a powerful voice, 
'Thanks be to God, who, 
through the merits of His 
Martyr St. Thomas, has 
perfectly delivered me from 
the evil one, who was forcibly 
constricting my throat and 

allata est a quodam fratrum ampulla 
cum aqua, 

(5) quae postquam labiis infirm i 
infusa est, statim solutum est vinculum 
linguae ejus, omnesque sensus illius con- 
valuerunt, omniaque membra corporis 
ejus pristinam sanitatem ceperunt, ita 
ut diceret, " Bene^ est," 

(6) postmodum valide exclamaret, 
" Deo gratias qui me per merita sancti 
Thomae martyris sui a maligno perfecte 
liberavit, qui guttur meum et nasum 
vehementer constringebat. " Itaque 

(5) "quae dum labiis aegrotantis 
infusa est, statim solutum est vinculum 
linguae ejus, omnesque sensus ejus 
convaluerunt, et omnia membra 
corporis pristinam receperunt sani- 
tatem, ita ut diceret ' Bene est.' 

(6) " Postmodum valide exclamavit, 
' Deo gratias, qui me per merita sancti 
Thomae, martyris sui, a maligno 
perfecte liberavit, qui guttur meum 
et nasum vehementer constringebat.' 

* " Bene est mihi " means '* I am 
well off," "I am doing well"; and 
this meaning is suitable here. 


Benedict (ii. 251-2) William (i. 210-1) 

And so the monk escaped " This miracle is attested 

both the hands of the demon by the whole of the convent 
and the loss of life.^ of Reading and almost all 

the inhabitants of our 

[752] The comparison of these two narratives shews 
that Benedict's account, which a reader might have naturally 
anticipated to be from his own pen, is really a condensation 
of an unacknowledged letter from a monk of Reading, with 
two brief insertions. Benedict's version omits what is 
personal to the sick man Geoffrey, but somewhat emphasizes 
what concerns the Water of Canterbury. 

[753] Above, when inserting the story of Elias of 
Reading, Benedict's book tells us that it might have been 
inserted long before, but was neglected either through 
forgetfulness or through the desire of further investigation. 
Possibly, the same causes operated here : but there may 
have been another, namely, the hostility of the Abbot of 
Reading in the early days before St. Thomas's fame was 
recognized. This may have induced Prior Odo of Canter- 
bury not to publish, in the form of a letter from a mere 
private monk of Reading, a miracle that ought to have been 
attested by the Abbot of Reading himself. So Odo may 
have caused the letter to be entered in the records of 
Canterbury not as a letter but as a narrative. In William's 
later book, there was no need of this reticence. 

[764] The conclusion to be drawn is an instructive one. 

evasit monachus et manus daemonis et Hujus miraculi testes sunt totus 
dispendium mortis.^ Radingiae conventus et fere omnes 

villae nostrae habitatores. " 

' Lit. "loss of, i.e. consisting in, 




Wherever there is close agreement between William and 
Benedict, we are not justified in inferring that the former 
borrowed from the latter ; but we are justified in thinking it 
probable that they borrowed from a common document.* 

§13, Deliverance from the fall of a wall 

[755] Benedict (ii. 252-3) 

(i) I know a man of 
good position ^ in the city of 
Winchester, whose son Geof- 
frey, about a year and a half 
old, was delivered by the 
Water of Canterbury from 
acute disease. 

William (i. 206-7) ^ 

(i) The boy named 
Geoffrey, a native of Win- 
chester, son of Robert and 
Laeticia, about sixteen 
months of age, was in the 
heat of a raging fever. After 
drinking the Water of St. 
Thomas, he gladdened his 
parents by an immediately 
reduced temperature. 

(i) Novi virum honoratum i de 
urbe Wintoniensi, cujus filium Gaufri- 
dum, quasi annum et dimidium aetatis 
habentem, aqua Cantuariensis a morbo 
acuto eripuit. 

(l) * Audisti puerum vulneratum ; 
audi puerum aetate minorem, a majori 
periculo liberatum. Puer Gaufridus 
nomine, Winthoniensis natione, patre 
Roberto natus et matre Laeticia, habens 
a nativitate quasi xvi. menses, fervore 
febris exaestuabat. Qui bibita aqua 
sancti Thomae, statim sumpto refrigerio 
parentes laetificavit. 

* [754a] It is quite possible that this narrative, like the last, though found in 
Benedict's book, proceeded (in that condensed form) from William's pen. It is 
not like Benedict, but it is like William, to omit the clause of attestation 
(William (6)) and to substitute the antithetical jingle about "the hands of the 
demon and the loss of life." See 746<z. 

1 «' Honoratus," below (758 (8)), 
applied to a chaplain, seems to mean 
"respected." Here, it may refer to 
official "honour." 

• William begins with one of his 
usual appendix-prefaces: "You have 
heard [, reader,] of a boy wounded : 
hear [now] of a boy lesser in age but 
delivered from a greater peril." 




Benedict (ii. 252-3) 
(2) But after some days, 
when the boy's mother was 
sitting alone in the house, 
and he, opposite her, quiet in 
the cradle, a great stone party- 
wall fell with a crash, burying 
the child in a heap of rubble. 

William (i. 206-7) 

(2) But the sudden joy^ 
was clouded with sorrow. 
For when his mother was 
sitting by herself,^ a party- 
wall of the house was shaken 
down and fell from top to 
bottom, under which the boy 
lay quiet in the cradle.* 
Now it was of stone, thirteen 
feet high. 

So the cradle (which was 
made of solid boards, squared 

(2) Post dies autem aliquot, cum 
sederet sola pueri mater in domo, et 
puer e regione in cunabulo quiesceret, 
corruit ejusdem domus paries magnus 
lapideus, et caementi tumulo sepelivit. 

(2) Sed repentina laetitia ^ tristitia 
obnubilata est. Nam cum mater ejus 
sederet seorsum ^ in domo sua, ruit con- 
cussus paries domus a summo usque 
deorsum, sub quo infans quiescebat in 
cunis.* Erat autem lapideus, tredecim 
pedes habens in altitudine. Contritum 
est itaque cunabulum in decem et octo 
partes, quod erat ex solidis lignis quad- 

2 "Joy (laetitia)." William has 
also taken the trouble to tell us that 
the mother's name was "Laeticia." 
These two insertions make it hardly 
uncharitable to suppose that William 
is here punning on the name. The 
words may mean : " But Laetitia was 
clouded with a sudden sorrow." 

' " Seorsum," in the story of Cecilia 
(737 (12)), meant "in a separate 

* " Sub quo quiescebat" seems to 
be taken by William to mean " under 
which" (that is, "by the side of 
which ") the boy " had been sleeping." 
Taken literally, his words mean that the 
boy still remained quiet or sleeping 
under the fallen wall. 




Benedict (ii. 252-3) 

(3) The mother cried 
out : " My lord, St. Thomas, 
save me my son whom thou 
didst [but] yesterday ^ restore 
to me." Then she fainted 
for excess of sorrow. But 
some of the house-servants 

William (i. 206-7) 

like embossed work *) was 
shattered into eighteen pieces : 
some fragments, too, were 
driven deep into the ground. 
Now it was thought that the 
wall fell in owing to a storm 
the day before : but we be- 
lieve that the Holy of Holies 
ordained this to the glory of 
His Holy one \i£. St. Thomas]. 
(3) The mother, seeing 
her little one overwhelmed in 
the chasm, cried, "St. Thomas, 
save me my boy whom thou 
didst give back to me," and 
fainted for sorrow in the 
moment of her cry. 

(3) Exclamavit autem mater : 
" Domine," inquit, "sancte Thoma, 
conserva mihi filium meum, quem 
mihi pridie^ restituisti." Haec cum 
dixisset, prae nimietate doloris in ex- 
stasim lapsa est ; introierunt autem 
aliqui ex servientibus domus, et videntes 

ratum, instar toreumatis.* Nonnulla 
quoque fragmenta humi pessum infossa 
sunt. Putabatur autem paries propter 
praecedentis diei tempestatem procu- 
buisse. Nos vero credimus ad glori- 
ficandum Sanctum sanctorum haec 

(3) Videns autem mater quia chas- 
mate parvulus obrueretur, clamavit, 
"Sancte Thoma, conserva puerum 
quem mihi reddidisti " ;* et prae dolore 
cum clamore in extasim lapsa est. 

' "Yesterday (pridie)." See the 
same phrase uttered by a mother below, 
758 (5). Here William omits "pridie." 
There he substitutes "pridem." In 
727 (3)1 William omits a passage that 
contains "pridie" used in this loose 
sense to mean "lately." 

^ " Instar toreumatis. " The bear- 
ing of the phrase on the context is 
obscure, but see 757. 




Benedict (ii. 252-3) 

came in, and, seeing her lying 
on the floor as one dead, 
they applied the usual remedy 
of cold water. 

(4) When she came to 
herself and sat up, they said, 

William (i. 206-7) 

Wonderful the kindliness 
of the Saint ! Wonderful 
the power of the unconquered 
Martyr ! Quickly did he 
give ear to the affectionate * 
mother, and preserve the boy 
too young to have merit [of 
his own], in the very jaws of 
death, with four cart-loads, or 
three [at all events], pressing 
upon him. 

For when on the one hand 
the son was being snatched 
[from life] by the falling mass, 
and on the other hand the 
mother [was being snatched] 
out of herself by grief, two 
men entered just in time, 
and set the woman on her 

(4) and asked and heard 
the cause of her sorrow. 

earn in area jacere quasi mortuam, 
aquae frigidae, ut fieri solet, apponunt 

(4) Quae cum ad se rediens rese- 
disset, "Quid," inquiunt, •• habes, do- 

Mira benignitas sancti ! Mira potentia 
martyris invicti, qui et piam^ matrem 
celerius exaudivit, et puerum citra 
meritum in ipsa morte conservavit 
illaesum, quern quatuor aut tria pres- 
serunt onera quadrigarum ! Nam cum 
filius hinc ruina, inde mater sibi 
moestitia praeriperetur, intervenientes 
viri duo mulierem jacentem in pedes 

(4) causam doloris interrogant et 

vou II 

" •' Piam " would mean " affection- 
ate" in classical Latin. Hut perhaps 
it is here "pious." 





Benedict (ii. 252-3) 
" What ails you, mistress ? " 
" Woe is me," she replied, 
" my son is dead. See ! 
Beneath yonder heap of rubble 
and stones, he lies crushed 
to pieces." 

(5) Invoking the name 
of God and the Martyr, and 
calling in plenty of men to 
help, they tear asunder the 
mound, and at last, though 
not without much toil, reach- 
ing the boy, they find him 
not only unhurt but actually 
laughing — and this, though 
the boy's cradle, which was 
of stout and solid boards, 
had been shattered and splin- 
tered into eighteen parts. 
But the infant's tender body 
was absolutely intact, with 
the exception of a very slight 
blueness under the eye : [and 

William (i. 206-7) 

(5) Calling in helping 
hands, casting down the vast 
mass of rubbish from the 
wall, finding the cradle splin- 
tered into the smallest frag- 
ments, they raise the boy not 
only unhurt but actually 
bright and laughing — won- 
derful to say — not having 
any sign of hurt on his whole 
body beyond a slight blue- 
ness near one of the eyes — 
and this could hardly be 

mina?" " Prohdolor!" inquit, "mor- 
tuus filius meus est ; ecce sub acervo illo 
caementi et lapidum jacet confractus. " 

(5) At illi, nomen Dei et martyris 
invocantes, et plurimum hominum con- 
vocantes auxilium, aggerem ilium 
diruunt, et ad puerum tandem, licet 
labore plurimo, pervenientes, non 
solum illaesum sedet ridentemreperiunt, 
cunabulo pueri, quod de lignis erat 
grossis et solidis, confracto et in partes 
decern et octo dissipato. Infantis vero 
caro tenera prorsus intacta fuit, livore 
permodico excepto, quem habebat sub 

(5) Qui vocatis auxiliis, ruinosam 
congeriem dejicientes, cunabulum com- 
minutum frustatim invenientes, puerum 
non modo illaesum, sed et laetum et 
ridentem, attollunt, mirabile dictu, non 
habentem laesionis signum in toto cor- 
pore, praeter modicum livoris in altero 
oculorum, qui vix poterat adverti. 




Benedict (ii. 252-3) 

this] while there lay [just] 
over the infant one stone 
bigger than the infant him- 

But they^ wondered at 
the sight and astonishment 
seized them. 

(6) Benedict omits this. 

William (i. 206-7) 

(6) As time went on, 
and they deferred paying the 
thanks to which they were 
bound by the Martyr's kind- 
ness, the boy began to sicken 
and to be required to pay the 
debt publicly announced [by 
the parents]." 

And it happened that one 
day a woman came to the 
boy's grandmother and said, 
" It is revealed to me con- 
cerning this boy that he ought 

oculo ; cum super infantem lapis ali- 
quis jacuerit, ipso infante major. Ipsi ^ 
vero videntes admirati sunt, et stupor 
apprehendit eos. 
(6) cm. 

(6) Procedente tempore, et gratias 
differentibus eis qui ex beneficio martyris 
tenebantur, coepit puer aegrotare, et ad 
debita praeconiorum reposci.'' Et acci- 
dit in una dierum ut mulier quaedam 
veniens ad aviam pueri ingrederetur 
dicens, " Revelatum est mihi de puero 

3 "Ipsi "in classical Latin would 
mean "they themselves"; but in this 
Latin it so often means " the above 
mentioned," that this is probably the 
meaning here. 

^ "Ad debita praeconiorum re- 
posci " may possibly mean that the 
boy's life would be required to pay the 


William (i. 206-7) 

to be conveyed to the Me- 
morial of St. Thomas. Know 
that this revelation has pro- 
ceeded from the Lord. For 
I say not this for the sake 
of gain, or some ^ other dis- 
honourable reason : but I 
come to bring you word of 
a Divine warning." 

So after a short time they 
conveyed the boy to Canter- 
bury and told us what we 
tell [you]. 

[756] Benedict appears to have received his account from 
the father, who was an acquaintance of his, and who may 
have written to him at once about it. Perhaps the father 
took the facts as they were given him by the servants, who 
rescued the boy, and who would be able to give him a more 
connected account than the mother, on the day on which she 
received so terrible a shock. The servants, suddenly entering 
the room, would notice the mother's chair in one place and 
the heap of rubbish (now covering the poor child's cradle) 
" over against " it, shewing how the mother had escaped : 

hoc quod ad memoriam beati Thomae 
transmitti debeat. Noveris banc revela- 
tionem a Domino processisse. Non 
enim hoc dico vel lucri gratia vel alia 
quadam ^ minus honesta causa, sed 
nuncia divinae admonitionis existo." 
Igitur post modicum tempus puero 
Cantuariam transmisso, didicimus quae 

^ We should have expected "qua- 
quam " instead of ' ' quadam. " 

§757 HIS MIRACLES 197 

they would know (but the mother would not) that they had 
applied cold water to her, whereas she would remember 
nothing till she found them " setting her on her feet." The 
servants' narrative, following the order of the events, would 
not describe the cradle or the number of pieces into which it 
was smashed, till they actually found it : and the fact that 
some of the pieces were driven into the floor would not 
impress them at the time so much as the fact that "just 
over the baby there was one big stone lying, as big as the 
baby himself" The wonder of the rescuers, with which 
Benedict's narrative concludes, is very naturally emphasized 
if it was from them that he derived his account. 

[757] On the other hand, Laetitia, the mother, appears to 
have inspired William's narrative. It was very natural for 
her to pass over what she said when she came to her senses, 
of which she probably had a very vague recollection ; she 
is also very woman-like in describing the child's cradle as 
something rather above the average, " like embossed work," 
and in mentioning the number of the fragments so early, out 
of the historical order ; and very mother-like in telling us 
that the child was " bright " as well as " laughing," and that, 
as for the " blueness " near " one of the eyes," " one could 
hardly notice it." Of course, also, the warning of the 
prophetess to the grandmother, coming from the grandmother 
to the mother, would lose nothing in the telling, and we 
cannot be surprised that William gives it at considerable 

The one statistical point peculiar to William is that the 
wall was thirteen feet high. This William might ask her ; 
and she might naturally know the height of her own room. 
If she exaggerated at first the number of cart-loads of rub- 
bish, she might perhaps, when pressed by the monk to be 
careful, correct herself as in William's narrative, " four, or, 
say three." But it might fairly be argued that this, and the 
height of the wall, may have come, not from her, but from 




one of her servants. In the main, however, the style of 
the two narratives favours the view above suggested, that 
Benedict's account came from the father, William's from the 
mother. Contrast the story of the son of Yngelrann (731), 
where the mother appears to have influenced Benedict, but 
not William. 

1 4. Miracles wrought on James, son of the Earl of Clare 

[768] Benedict (ii. 255-7) 

(i) The powerful also 
are not cast away by God, 
since He too is powerful. 
For the powerful and the 
noble have received their 
dead by resurrection. Con- 
cerning one in particular of 
these,^ mention was made 
above, and now a second 
time mention must be made 
of one in particular. 

William (i. 228-30) 

" There is no acceptance 
of persons before God, but in 
every nation whoso feareth 
God, he is accepted by 
Him."^ He casts not away 
the powerful, since He too is 
powerful : He does not always 
give access to a poor man 
[merely] because he is poor. 
Hearts, not rank, He notes ; 
possessors, not possessions. 
For if rich and poor are 

(i) Potentes etiam Deus non abjicit, 
cum et ipse sit potens ; potentes enim 
et nobiles acceperunt de resurrectione 
mortuos suos. De quorum aliquo' 
superius specificatum est, et nunc iterum 
de aliquo spedBcandum. 

(l) " Non est acceptio personarum 
apud Deum, sed in omni gente qui 
timet Deum, hie acceptus est illi."' 
Non abjicit potentem, cum et ipse sit 
potens ; non admittit quandoque pau- 
perem quia pauper est. Corda, non 
conditionem, attendit ; possessorem, 
non possessionem. Si enim dives et 

* " De aliquo," probably referring 
to the knight Jordan, above (732). 
This miracle on one of noble birth 
seems to have been made the subject of 
a discourse in Canterbury, on the basis 
of the words •' Potens potentes non 
abjicit." Both writers have them. 

* Acts X. 35. 




Benedict (ii. 255-7) 

(2) He that makes all 
breath, first sent away the 
breath of life, and then sent 

William (i. 228-30) 

Strong in merit of good deeds,^ 
they deserve to be heard 
impartially, when making re- 
quests of the Lord. Against 
the latter there is no pre- 
judice from his poverty, nor 
against the former from his 
wealth.^ Therefore, let each 
one study to please God in 
mind ; let him make it his 
business to work for God in 
word,'* that God also may 
work for him. 

(2) Matilda, countess of 
Clare, bore her husband a son 
named James. 

(2) Quiflatum omnem facit, Jacobo, 
Rogerii comitis Clarensis filio, adhuc 

pauper merito virtutum^ polleant, pe- 
tentes a Domino indifferenter exaudiri 
merentur. Non praejudicat huic pau- 
pertas, non illi facultas.^ Igitur unus- 
quisque studeat placere Deo mente, 
verbo * satagat operari Deo, ut et Deus 
operetur pro eo. 

(2) Matildis comitissa de Clara 
suscepit filium Jacobum e v-iro sue. 

' *• Virtutum " so frequently, in 
these treatises, means •'mighty works," 
that it probably means ♦' works" here. 

3 William elsewhere (688) frankly 
avows a prejudice in favour of the rich, 
so far as concerns veracity as to 

* So the text " mente, verbo." 
But (?) " mente et verbo ; satagat," i.e. 
" let him study to please God in mind 
and word ; let him make it his business 
to work for God that God may work 
for him." 



Benedict (ii. 255-7) 

it back, to James, son of 
Roger Earl of Clare, while 
still a babe at the breast. 
The same innocent one was 
succoured by the merits of 
the innocent Martyr, not once 
alone but a second time. 

Born about the feast-day 
of St. Michael, the little in- 
fant numbered but forty days 
when, owing to over-violent 
crying, the intestines were 
ruptured and filled the follicle 
of the testicles. Everything 
being thus disordered, that 
which ought to have been 
the contents of the stomach 
became the contents of 
the follicle, which was so dis- 
tended as to reach almost to 
the knees.^ 

William (i. 228-30) 

A short time after his 
birth, he was afflicted with 
hernia, and the intestines 
flowed into the vessels of the 

His father, seeing that 
his child was destined from 
tender years to a life of pro- 
tracted pain, and [to pass] 
from the cradle to care,^ called 
a consultation of physicians, 
promising them a large sum 
in ready money if they would 
cure him. Ascertaining that 
the cause of the rupture was 
a violent outburst of scream- 
ing and struggling, they said 
they must use incision. But 
the mother, feeling (as for 
herself) the danger for a child 
of such tender years, would 

lactenti vitalem flatum remisit amissum. 
Eidem innocenti innocentis martyris 
merita non solum semel, sed etsecundo 
succurrerunt. Circa solennitatem beati 
Michaelis natus, quadraginta dies habe- 
bat infantulus, cum rupta prae clamore 
nimio intestina genitalium foUiculum 
impleverant ; ordine confuso, quae 
ventris esse debuerant habebat folliculus 
distentus, et ad poplites pene porrec- 
tus.2 Quadraginta, aut eo amplius, 

Qui parvo tempore post nativitatem 
hernia percussus est, et fluxerunt in- 
testina in saccules testiculorum. Cujus 
pater videns quia a tenero protraheretur 
ad poenam, et a cunis ad curam,^ 
medicos convenit, multam spondens 
numeratam pecuniam si ipsum curarent. 
Qui rupturae causam in nimio motu 
et vagitu deprehendentes, opus esse in- 
cisione dicebant. Mater vero, puerili 

^ The contents of this and the pre- 
ceding section, with the antithetical use 
of "aliquis," " remitto "and "amitto," 
"flatus," and "innocens," are not in 
Benedict's ordinary style. 

^ "A cunis ad curam" seems an 
intended jingle ; ' ' care " is used in the 
sense of " cares," gnawing the heart. 



Benedict (ii. 255-7) 

Forty silver marks, or 
more, did the father offer for 
a cure : but no one was found 
venturous enough to accept 
the offer unless he might 
make an incision into the 
little infant. But the parents, 
fearing for his tender age, 
would by no means consent 
to the application of the 
knife : so the infant remained 
for a year and some months 
suffering from hernia. 

(3) At length, in the 
second year from his birth, 
on the day of the Purification 
of the blessed Virgin and 
Mother, Mary, he was brought 
by his mother to the Martyr, 
washed with the Martyr's 
Water, and within three days 


William (i. 228-30) 

permit any incision. 

(3) placed all her hope 
in the Lord and St. Thomas. 
And going to the place of 
his rest ^ on the day on which 
theblessed Virgin and Mother, 
Mary (as we read in Scrip- 
ture)^ presented her Son in 
the Temple, she, too, herself, 

marcas argenti, quas ob ejus curationem 
pater offerebat, non erat qui accipere 
praesumeret, nisi infanlulum incidere 
liceret. At parentes, aetati tenerae me- 
tuentes, ut ferrum admilteretur minima 
consenserunt ; permansit itaque infans 
herniosus anno uno et mensibus aliquot. 
(3) Tandem anno nativitatis suae 
secundo, in die Purificationis beatae 
virginis et matris Mariae, a matre sua 
martyri allatus, et martyris aqua lotus, 
infra diem tertium dimissus est ab 

teneritudini compatiens, non permitte- 
bat incidi, sed 

(3) spem totam in Domino beatoque 
Thoma constituit. Et abiens ad locum 
requietionis ejus," die qua beata Maria 
mater et virgo Filium suum legitur ' in 
templo praesentasse, curavit et ipsa 

' i.e. the Martyr's tomb (741 (9)) 

' " Legitur," lit. " is read to have 




Benedict (ii. 255-7) 

released from his disease, so 
that no trace of the disease 

(4) After some weeks, in 
the middle of the following 
Lent, being seized by another 
disease, he at length breathed 
forth his spirit. 

The mother had gone to 
church and was attending 

William (i. 228-30) 

took care to present her own 
son to the Martyr to be cared 

There, too, she received 
advice (for she had not pre- 
sumed [before]) to wash the 
boy's diseased parts with the 
healing Water. By merely 
washing she gained complete 
health for him whom she 
washed. No other kind of 
cure was employed. Faith 
alone reduced the intestines 
into their place. 

(4) After this, some con- 
siderable time passed on, and 
the boy was withdrawn from 
life by disease. Great was 
the sorrow of those in charge 
of him. When the limbs 
became so stiff as to make 

infirmitate sua, nullo infirmitatis re- 
manente indicio. 

(4) Post hebdomadas aliquot, in 
medio videlicet Quadragesimae se- 
quentis, alia aegritudine correptus, 
tandem spiritum exhalavit. Mater ad 
ecclesiam profecta divinis intendebat 

suum martyri curandum ^ praesentare. 
Ubi et in consilio accepit 1 (non enim 
praesumpsit), infirma pueri aqua salu- 
bri lavare. Lavit [tantum], et ei quem 
lavit omnimodam sanitatem promeruit. 
Non aliud genus curationis adhibitum 
est ; sola fides in locum suum intestina 

(4) Inde aliquanto tempore pro- 
fluente correptus idem puer infirmitate 
vitae subtractus est ; et facta est tris- 
titia magna tutorum. Qui cum rigor 
membrorum certissimam vitae prae- 

* i.e. "to be cured," a play on 
the words "curavit — curandum." 




Benedict (ii, 255-7) 

divine service : the house- 
hold had remained at home. 

No one was found willing 
to bear to the mother's ears 
the news of her son's death, 
lest he should be called the 
cause of the calamity. At 
last, a little boy (brother of 
the deceased) ran to the 
church, unable (like a boy) 
to keep a secret, and cried 
out repeatedly to his mother, 
" Lady, my brother is dead. 
Lady, my brother is dead." 

(5) She immediately 
turned pale, started up, threw 
off her mantle, and, running 
back to the house, found the 
infant carried out from his 
chamber to an outer hall. 

William (i. 228-30) 

death certain, they carried 
the body into an outer build- 
ing, reserving for the mother's 
anxious care the arrange- 
ments for the burial and 
the funeral rites. But as no 
one dared to afflict her with 
the sad news, a little brother 
of the deceased, running out 
[of the house], brought word 
to the mother of what he had 

(5) Casting off her gar- 
ment, and hurrying back from 
prayer, she raises ^ the corpse 
in her hands, presses it to her 
breasts, cherishes it in her 
arms, not fearing to apply 

obsequiis ; domi familia remanserat. 
Non est inventiis qui pueri mortem 
matemis auribus nuntiaret, ne cala- 
mitatis ejus causa diceretur fuisse. 
Currit tandem puerulus, pueri frater 
defuncti, ad ecclesiam (nescit quippe 
puer aliquis celare secretum), et matri 
clamat ingeminans, ** Domina, frater 
meus est mortuus ; domina, frater meus 
est mortuus." 

(5) At ilia statim expallens exsiliit, 
domumque indumento rejecto recurrens, 
infantem reperit a thalamo in aulam 
exteriorem elatum, extensum in area, 

dicasset absentiam, in exteriorem 
domum corpus transferentes elationem 
et ritum funeris maternae sollicitudini 
reser\'arunt. Nemine tamen audente 
matrem tristi nuntio soUicitare, pro- 
currens fraterculus defuncti quod viderat 
matri nuntiavit. 

(5) Quae veste rejecta cursim rediens 
ab oratione cadaver manibus attoUit," 
premit ad ubera, fovet inter brachia, 
vultus vultibus suis admovere non 

" "Attollit" might mean, with 
emphasis, " raises towards herself" but 
is used by William elsewhere without 
any such emphasis. 




Benedict (ii. 255-7) 

stretched out on the floor — the 
mouth open, but no breathing 
whatever, the tongue and lips 
drawn inwards, the eyes deep 
sunk, and turned up so that 
only the white could be seen 
— absolutely cold and stiff, 
and, to speak briefly, in very 
truth dead. 

And snatching him up 
into her arms, " St. Thomas," 
she cried, " restore me my 
son ; but yesterday,^ when he 
was afflicted with hernia, you 
brought him back to health. 
Now he is dead ; holy Martyr, 
restore him to life." 

William (i. 228-30) 

the child's face to her own,^° 
and crying aloud, " St. Thomas, 
long ago " you gave me back 
my son : why did you resolve 
to give [him] back, — merely 
to cause sorrow to a mother ? 
You healed the disease that 
caused him such frightful 
tortures : woe is me, how 
have I sinned, what command 
have I transgressed, that I 
am now condemned to be- 
reavement ? Give back, even 
now, holy Martyr, him whom 
you [then] gave back," 

ore aperto, sed penitus absque spiraculo, 
lingua labiisque in se retractis, defossis 
oculis, et ita ut albugo sola videretur 
eversis, frigidum penitus rigidumque, 
et, ut breviter sit dicere, revera mor- 
tuum. Et arripiens eum in ulnas, 
" Sancte Thoma," inquit, "restitue 
mihi filium meum ; pridie ^ herniosum 
redonasti sanitati ; nunc mortuum, 
sancte martyr, vitae restitue." 

trepidat,^" damans, "Sancte Thoma, 
pridem " puerum mihi reddidisti ; cur 
ad maternum luctum reddere voluisti ? 
Morbum, quo misere cruciabatur, 
curasti ; vae mihi, quo nunc peccato, 
qua transgressione mandatorum, dam- 
nor orbitate ? Redde, martyr sancte, 
etiam nunc quem reddidisti." 

' " Pridie," a hyperbole natural to 
a mother, but not understood by 
William, who alters it to "pridem." 
Suspicions may occur that Benedict, 
who assigns this phrase to another 
mother above (755 (3)) may be writing 
what he thought the mother might 
have said rather than what she did say. 
But both here and there the circum- 
stances make the phrase highly natural, 
and the fact that William alters it here, 
and omits it above, shews that the 

10 «« Not fearing." This seems a 
strange thing to need to say. Does 
the writer imply that the disease was 
infectious, or of some specially revolt- 
ing character? The carrying of the 
corpse " into an outer building," here 
mentioned by William, is not, I think, 
often mentioned by him except in 
the supposed death of Cecilia, from 
cancer (see above, 737 (n)), whose 
condition was exceptionally repellent. 

'1 See note 3 on Benedict. 




Benedict (ii. 255-7) 

(6) She also ran and 
fetched from a writing case 
relics of the Saint which she 
had brought from Canterbury. 
Some of the blood of the 
Saint she poured into the 
mouth of the dead child, and 
pushed a small portion of 
his hair-clothing right into 
the throat, 

(7) incessantly exclaim- 
ing, " Holy Martyr, Thomas, 
give me back my son. He 
shall be brought to your 
tomb if he lives again : I 
myself will visit you on my 
bare feet. Hear my prayer." 

William (i. 228-30) 

(6) Placed by William 
in section 10. 

(7) " Do but place me 
under a [second] debt, and 
then, clothed in woollen attire, 
barefoot, as an outcast, will 
I again seek your tomb in 
devotion. Give back, holy 
Martyr, him whom you long 
ago gave back." Thus did 
she alternate [vows and sup- 
plications ^-] fixing her knees 
on the ground. 

(6) Currens etiam, reliquias sancti, 
quas a Cantuaria detulerat, a scrinio 
extraxit ; sancti cruorem in os mortui 
infantis infudit, et portiunculam cilicii 
ei usque in guttur intrusit, 

(7) incessanter damans et dicens, 
" Sancte martyr Thoma, redde mihi 
filium meum ; ad sepulchrum tuum 
adducetur si revixerit ; ipsa te nudis 
pedibus visitabo ; exaudi me." 

(6) vide (10). 

(7) "Voto obnoxia, laneis induta, 
nudis pedibus abjecta, tuum repetam 
devota sepulcrum. Kedde, martyr 
sancte, quem pridem reddidisti." 
Hujusmodi loquens invicem '^ in terra 
genua sua defigebat. 

phrase is unlikely to have been invented. 
It seemed to William difficult. 

'* " Hujusmodi loquens invicem — 
defigebat " could hardly mean ' ' she spoke 
and knelt by turns" : forsurelyshc would 
speak while she knelt. Henedict con- 
nects (758(8)) "iterum iterumquc" with 




Benedict (ii. 255-7) 
(8) But all the knights 
that were standing near, the 
countess of Warwick, too, and 
the other ladies, " kept chid- 
ing her that she should hold 
her peace."* But she, bend- 
ing her bare knees again and 
again on the ground, cried so 
much the more, " Holy Mar- 
tyr, have pity on me." 

Then Lambert, her chap- 
lain, expostulated with her, a 
man of a good old age and 
honoured [by all],^ " Madam, 
what possesses you ? You 
are behaving like a simpleton. 
You are become a fool. What 
you are doing and saying 

William (i. 228-30) 

(8) But the men and 
ladies that were standing 
near " kept chiding her that 
she should hold her peace,"^^ 
especially the chaplain Lam- 
bert, saying, " What is the 
matter with you. Madam ? 
What is this you are doing ? 
what is this you are saying? 
Such conduct does not savour 
of sanity or wisdom. A 
funeral demands funeral sup- 
plications, not such as these. 
Render the body to the 
ashes,^* commit the spirit to 
its Creator who according to 
His pleasure infuses and with- 
draws the soul. Do not 

(8) Milites vero omnes qui astabant, 
comitissa etiam Warwiccnsis et reliquae 
mulieres, increpabant earn ut taceret ; * 
at ilia genibus nudis iterum iterumque 
in terram flexis multo magis clamabai, 
" Sancte martyr, miserere mei." Tunc 
capellanus ejus Lambertus, vir honora- 
tus ^ et senectutis bonae, ' ' Quomodo 
te habes, domina ? insipienter agis ; 
stulta facta es ; amentiam sapiunt 

(8) Viri autem et mulieres qui asta- 
bant, increpabant earn ut taceret,^^ gt 
praecipue capellanus Lambertus, dicens, 
"Quid est, domina? quid agis? quid 
Ipqueris? Non haec sapiunt mentem 
sanam et sapientem. Funus funebria, 
non hujuscemodi, precamina poscit. 
Redde corpus cineri," spiritum Creatori 
suo commenda, qui creaturae suae prout 
vult animam infundit et aufert. Noli 

* Mark x. 48. 

s "Honoured (honoratus)." 

" genibus flexis." Perhaps there was a 
See French original capable of both trans- 
lations. Comp. 741 (7). 

13 Mark X. 48. 

1* " Redde cineri " seems to mean 
" to the ground" as in our Burial 
Service ("ashes to ashes "). Elsewhere 
" imponere cineri" means, literally, 
" lay (a dying person) on ashes." 




Benedict (ii. 255-7) 
savours of insanity. Is the 
Creator not to be allowed 
to do what He wills with 
His creature ? Cease ! Cast 
away'' the infant, and let the 
infant be treated as one dead. 
It betokens great folly that 
you should wish to struggle 
for that which is impossible 
to obtain." Likewise also 
said they all : 

(9) But she answered, 
" Certainly I will in no wise 
cease. In no wise will I cast 
away my babe : for I am con- 
fident that he is to be given 
back to me. Martyr most 

William (i. 228-30) 

anger the Divine mercy by 
fatuous speech." 

(9) None the less the 
mother continued her lamenta- 
tion : " I will not stop," she 
said, " till the Martyr is pro- 
pitiated to me and my son is 
restored to me from death." 

quaecunque agis et loqueris. Nun- 
quid non licet Creatori de creatura 
sua quod vult facere ? desine ; projice " 
infantem, fiatque de infante utpote de 
mortuo ; stultitiae grandis est ad hoc 
te niti velle quod impossibile sit im- 
petrare." Similiter et omnes dice- 
bant : 

(9) at ilia, *'Certe nequaquam," 
inquit, " cessabo ; nequaquam infantem 
projiciam ; confido enim quod mihi 
reddendus sit. Martyr," inquit, "glo- 

fatuo sermone divinam clementiam ex- 
asperare. " 

(9) Nihilominus ilia plangens, 
"Non," ait, "omittam priusquam 
martyr mihi propitietur, et de funere 
filius restituatur." 

* "Projice," a very strong word. 
But the whole of Lambert's language is 
coloured with an exaggerated bluntness, 
almost brutal, apparently intended (per- 
haps by the Countess herselQ to shew 
the strength of the obstacles that she- 
had to contend with in persisting in her 
prayer to the Martyr. 




Benedict (ii. 255-7) 
glorious," she cried, " Martyr 
most pious, Martyr beloved ! 

William (i. 228-30) 

Shew pity to me ! 
back my son ! " 

( I o) Placed 
diet in (6). 

Give me 

by Bene- 

( I o) And furthermore she 
opened the lips of the deceased 
and dropped in some of the 
Martyr's Water ; she also 
pushed in a piece ^^ of the 
hair-cloth garments of the 

riose, martyr," inquit, "piissime, martyr 
dilecte, miserere mihi ; redde mihi 
iilium meum." 
(10) vide (6). 

(10) Et adjecit labiis defuncti re- 
clusis aquam martyris instillare, tomum- 
que '° cilicinum de vestibus ejusdem 
martyris intrudere. 

1* "Tomum," mostly used of paper. 
Benedict has "portiunculam." William 
likes Greek words (722). 

It is out of the question that the use 
of the hair-cloth and the water should 
have been so long delayed. Benedict 
inserts it in its right place. 

William is also wrong in speaking 
of the mother as " opening the lips," 
whereas Benedict descrilied (5) " the 
mouth open." 

The fact is, that William, or perhaps 
his informant, not having, or not follow- 
ing, the mother's account, assumes that 
here, as is expressly stated in many 
other cases, the mouth was shut fast 
and had to be opened before St. 
Thomas's Water could be poured in. 

Also it appeared more seemly that 
the application of the relics and the use 
of the water should come as a climax 
and be closely followed by restoration. 
Benedict places the application early, 




Benedict (ii. 255-7) 

(11) When she had spent 
about two hours in thus calling 
[on him], the Martyr took com- 
passion on her and restored 
her babe to life. First there 
appeared a spot of red on his 
face : soon afterwards he be- 
gan to roll his eyes and burst 
out crying, 

(12) And they blessed 
the Lord, who maketh dead 
and maketh alive, bringeth 
down to the grave and 
bringeth back. And there 
was great gladness in 
the house, and joy sup- 
planted the agony of sor- 
row ; for " they obtained 

William (i. 228-30) 

(11) While she [thus] 
groans and calls [on the 
Martyr], she noticed a spot 
of red break out on his face, 

(12) perceived it to be 
the sign of the Divine com- 
passion, and, [? moved by] 
the tidings of returning life, 
rose from her knees with 

(11) Cumque ita quasi per duas 
horas clamasset, misertus martyr ejus 
infantem vitae restituit ; et apparente 
primitus in facie illius nota ruboris, post 
modicum oculos circumducens in ejula- 
tum prorupit. 

(12) Et benedixerunt Dominum 
qui mortificat et vivificat, deducit ad 
inferos et reducit ; et facta est laetitia 
magna in domo, et extrema luctus 
occupavit gaudium ; " gaudium enim 
et laetitiam obtinuerunt ; fugit dolor et 

(II) Dum gemit et clamat, advertit 
in facie notam ruboris erumpere. 

(12) Signum divinae miserationis 
intelligit, nuncioque "^ vitae redeuntis 
cum gratiarum actionibus assurgit. 

VOL. 11 

and says that after this, the mother's 
prayers were unavailing for " two 
hours." William places the application 
late and omits the " two hours." 

•* "[(?) Moved by] the tidings 
(nuncio)." Possibly we ought to read 
" nuncia (as messenger)." 



Benedict (ii. 255-7) 
joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing fled 
away." ^ 

And the Countess, the mother of the boy [thus] 
restored, readily undertook^ an unwonted task, and, setting 
out with the boy for Canterbury, performed the promised 
journey bare-foot. She was followed by the Countess 
of Warwick and many other ladies ; also by Lambert, 
the Chaplain above - mentioned, and by many knights, 
all of whom testified that they had seen the boy and that he 
had been in very truth dead, and in very truth restored 
from the dead. 

[759] As in the case of Geoffrey of Winchester above- 
mentioned, so here, one account seems to be derived from 
the mother, one from some other source, probably the 
Chaplain, Benedict represents the former ; William (who 
has a predilection for the testimony of the clergy), the latter. 

[760] The Countess describes the child as the Earl's 
son, the Chaplain (so we will call William's unknown 
informant) as the son of " Matilda, Countess of Clare." 
The mother gives maternal details, e.g. "at the breast," 
" born about Michaelmas," " only forty days old " ; and we 
can fancy her saying that Jier husband offered " forty marks " 
for a cure, but that " we would not allow the physicians to 
use the knife " : on the other hand, the Chaplain — who had 
(doubtless) talked over matters with the Earl — lays stress 

gemitus."^ Et apprehendit* comitissa, pueri mater suscitati, laborem inusita- 
tum, et Cantuariam cum puero properans nudis pedibus iter promissum 
perfecit. Secuta est autem earn comitissa Warwicensis et aliae mulieres 
multae ; capellanus etiam praenominatus Lambertus, et milites multi, qui omnes 
vidisse se puerum et vere mortuum et vere a morte resuscitatum testificati sunt. 

7 Isaiah xxxv. 10. 

8 " Apprehendit," lit. " seized." Not " suscepit," which would be the regular 
word for '^'■undertaking {a task)." 

§763 HIS MIRACLES 211 

on the father's anticipations of a life of misery for the poor 
child and says that it was the Countess who would not allow 
the operation. 

[761] Both record the day of the Purification as the 
day when the Countess took the little one to Canterbury. 
But the mother alone mentions the date relating to her child 
(" he was in his second year ") : the Chaplain (or perhaps here 
William) dilates on her faith, and on her reverence for the 
Water of Canterbury, and her employment of no other means. 

" After some time" says the Chaplain — " in the middle of 
Lent" adds the mother — the child died. Thenceforth the 
Chaplain follows the course of events among the servants 
in t/ie house ; the mother tells her tale as things came to her. 

[762] At home, they lay the body out in an outer 
building. A few words describe it. The mother is upper- 
most in their thoughts. Things must be left to her. No 
one dares tell her. The narrator does not stop even to say 
where she is. Their minds are not with her : the fear of 
her passion is with them. They did not suppose that the 
babe's little brother realized the meaning of death : but he 
runs out and tells the mother " what he had seen." ^ 

[763] The mother begins her account by saying she 
had gone to church ; and what more natural, in the middle 
of Lent, and her son ailing, too ? But " the household had 
remained at home." While on her knees, she hears her son 
say twice, " My brother is dead." There is a mother's sense 
of wrong in the phrase about a boy's " not keeping a secret," 
as though the servants had tried to prevent even her son from 
coming to tell her the news, and as though forsooth, she 
would have treated a mere messenger as " the cause of the 
death " ! So absurd — it seems to her ; so certain — though 
absurd — to the servants. 

' [762fl] For another instance where the mother apparently tells the story in 
one order and the servants tell it in another, as things occurred to them, 
see 756, 757. 


She felt " pale," as she " started up," and this little 
detail (which must have come from her, for it was not in 
Benedict's nature to invent it) is not unnaturally inserted 
in the narrative, as well as the statement that she threw 
off her " mantle " — vaguely called by the male witness 
her " garment." She came back " at a run from praying " 
says the Chaplain, as though the point were that she did not 
stay to the end of the prayers ; and then he describes what 
she did, adding that she did not even '■^fear to place Jier face 
close to the child' sT But the mother describes not what she 
came from {i.e. praying), but what she came to {i.e. home), 
and not what she did, but (first of all) what she saw — the 
little pitiful corpse, not in its bed, but in an " outer hall," 
and " lying on the floor " ! And then the ghastly features 
of death ! The mother thinks it needless to describe that she 
'"cherished" the child: the point was, to save it. If she 
catches it in her arms, it is to offer up a prayer over it to 
St. Thomas. Then to the relics at once, the " blood " — 
she will not call it Water ; for her, it is " blood " — and the 
little scrap of cloth which she " pushes right into " the little 
one's throat. 

[764] Is it not also very womanly that in mentioning 
the painful expostulations of those who would fain have 
prevented her from saving her child's life, she should single 
out the Countess of Warwick ? From the " knights," it was 
natural enough. They were men, and did not understand 
things. And the worthy and venerable old Chaplain, she 
did not mind his plain frankness. It was even a pleasure 
to recollect that, with the best possible motives, he had 
told her she was " a fool," and was acting like a simpleton. 
But from a woman it was so different. She has no good 
epithet for her. 

[765] As for the Chaplain, here, it is amusing to note 
how cleverly, without denying, he softens his expostulations. 
He merely alters " insanity " into " not . . . sanity," and " fool " 

§767 HIS MIRACLES 213 

into "not wisdom" — a very pardonable extenuation: but 
the Countess's version represents the unextenuated truth. 

[766] Benedict's account of the conclusion is in his own 
sensible, earnest, and accurate manner. He recognizes that 
there was a delay of " two hours " before the child revived 
(whereas William leads readers naturally to infer that the 
revival followed almost immediately on the application of 
the Martyr's relics) : he adds some interesting details about 
the accompanying signs of the revivification ; and he makes 
us realize, in the words of Isaiah, how, in that household, 
" sorrow and sighing fled away." Also, his concluding 
sentence adds attestation to the miracle, and incidentally 
affords a slight probability to the conjecture, above thrown 
out, that Lambert the Chaplain may have originated William's 
account. The Countess of Clare, he says, came first to the 
Memorial. Benedict might naturally write his narrative from 
her story. Afterwards came the Chaplain, and his account 
suggested another version of the miracle to William." 

§ I 5. Tlie cure of Hugh of Ebblmghetn, a leper ; William 
adds another 

[767] Benedict (ii. 259-60). William (i. 332-4). 

(i) The Almighty Father (i) "Never in my life," 

who smites His children with says Galen, "have I seen a 

His rod and delivers their man perfectly cured of leprosy 

souls from death, who visits — unless indeed he has drunk 

(I) Pater omnipotens, qui percutit (i) "Nunquam," inquit Galienus, 

filios suos virga et liberat animas eorum " vidi in vita mea hominem a lepra 
a morte, qui visitat in virga iniquiutes plenarie sanatum, nisi qui vinum 

biberit ubi tyria inciderit et ibidem 

' [766a] The Prolc^e, in both narratives, suggests that this miracle had 
l)een made the subject of "Canterbury Discourses" such as the monks might 
naturally make to the pilgrims. Comp. 758 (2) and 767 (i) : it is natural that, 
in compiling his Book, Benedict should take any striking utterances from such a 
Discourse, and use them as an Introduction. 




Benedict (ii. 259-60) 
their iniquities with a rod and 
their sins with stripes, 

(2) Benedict omits this. 

William (i. 332-4) 
wine into which a viper has 
been dropped and allowed to 
rot, for under those circum- 
stances I have seen him 
peeled and stripped of the 
diseased skin, upon drinking 
that wine." But we have 
seen two men perfectly 
cleansed and not retaining a 
sign of leprosy, though they 
had not received any medi- 
cine other than the Water 
and blood of the Martyr. 

(2) One of these stayed 
for a long time near the 
Martyr's tomb, " eating and 
drinking such things as were 
with us." ^ His name was 
Richard, and he was beheld 
by kings, counts, natives and 
foreigners, who came to pray.^ 

eorum et in verberibus peccata eorum, 
misericordiam autem suam non dis- 
pergit ab eis, 

(2) om. 

computruerit. Hunc enim vidi excor- 
ticari et cute exspoliari cum vinum 
illud biberet." Nos vero vidimus duos 
ad unguem mundatos nee signum leprae 
reservantes, qui non aliud medicamen 
acceperant quam aquam et sanguinem 
martyris ; 

(2) quorum alter diutius circa tum- 
bam ejusdem martyris conversabatur, 
edens et bibens quae apud nos erant,' 
Ricardus nomine, et erat spectaculum 
regibus, comitibus, indigenis et alieni- 
genis oratum venientibus.^ 

• Luke X. 7. 

* This may have been Queen 
Eleanor's foundling (747), who was 




Benedict (ii. 259-60) 

(3) smote Hugh of Hem- 
besjim ^ 

(4) with a sudden leprosy 
in harvest time ; and his 
whole body was deformed by 
prominent tubers. And the 
man thought over his sin, 
and confessed his unright- 
eousnesses that were against 
him in the eyes of the Lord, 
and, after invoking the 
Martyr, feeling within ten 
days that he was better, he 
bent his way to Canterbury. 
And he saw in a vision of 

William (i. 332-4) 

(3) Another, named 
Hugh, of the village of 
Hemblenguiem, about fifteen 
furlongs from a great town 
commonly called by the name 
of the Confessor St. Omer, 

(4) we saw as a leper, 

(3) percussit Hugonem de Hem- 
begim ' 

(4) lepra repentina messionis tem- 
pore ; totumque corpus ejus tubera 
prominentia reddidere deforme. Et 
cogitavit homo pro peccato suo, et 
confessus est adversus se injustitias 
suas Domino, et martyre invocato infra 
diem octavum meliorari se sentiens, 
Cantuariam tetendit. Et vidit in visu 

(3) Alterum vero quendam Hugo- 
nem, de vico Hemblenguiem, quasi 
quindecim stadiis a vico grandi distante 
quem nomine confessoris Audomari 
vulgus appellat, 

(4) leprosum vidimus 

' Or, *' Amblengim." 

brought by the Bishop of St. Asaph to 
Canterbury "to be exhibited." As 
being under the Queen's protection he 
might naturally have been shewn to 
"kings." On the date implied by 
"kings," see 441, note 2. 




Benedict (ii. 259-60) 

the night the face as of one 
crucified, touching with his 
hand the place of the leprosy 
and saying, " Behold, thou 
art made whole." ^ And he 
came on,^ even unto us. 
And when we saw him, " he 
had no form nor comeliness.* 
For though in several places 
there remained only the traces 
of the leprosy, yet in some 
the prominent tubers had not 
been driven away. 

(5j) Benedict omits this. 

William (i. 332-4) 

(5) and we sent (him) 
away from our house cured, 

noctis quasi crucifixi bominis vultum, 
manu sua locum leprae tangentis, ac 
dicentis, '* Ecce sanus factus es." "^ Et 
venit usque ad ^ nos ; et vidimus eum 
non habentem speciem neque decorem.* 
Nam, licet in locis pluribus sola leprae 
remansissent vestigia, in aliquibus 
tamen tubera prominentia fugata non 
(5) om- 

(5) et sanatum a nobis dimisimus, 

* The words seem taken from John 
V. 14, with a special allusion to what 
follows, viz. "sin no more." It is 
implied by both writers that Hugh had 
special reasons for penitence. William 
appears to connect them with the fact 
that he was "a merchant." Elsewhere 
(627) he says that a trader's gain is 
mostly another man's loss. 

^ " Usque ad " perhaps means that, 
though he had received a sort of promise 
of cure, yet he went on, till he had 
reached his original destination. 

* Isaiah liii. 2. 




Benedict (ii. 259-60) 

(6) So he washed him- 
self in the wonder-working 
Water of the Martyr, who 
was washed in his own blood 
and [he] is wholly clean. 
The man was unclean when 
he came to the Martyr and 
was made clean through him ; 
for we sent him away part- 
cleansed,^ and, after the lapse 

William (i. 332-4) 

warning him to carry on his 
business without fraud (for 
he was a merchant) or to 
give up business altogether. 
For in other points he was 
respectable above the average, 
with a good presence, and 
strong, and not past the 
prime of life. 

(6) He was cured easily, 
though his disease was 
difficult — and all the more 
difficult because a year had 
elapsed since it had spread 
over his skin. He spent two 
nights in prayer with us, and 
departed after his face had 
been sprinkled with a little 
of the Water. On departing, 

(6) Lavit itaque se mirifica martyris 
aqua, qui in sanguine proprio lotus est, 
et est mundus totus. Immundus erat 
homo cum veniret ad martyrem, et 
mundus per ipsum factus est ; emen- 
datum * enim dimisimus, et post aliquot 

monentes ut negotiationem suam sine 
fraude prosequeretur (erat enim mer- 
cator), vel ex toto negotiationi renun- 
tiaret. Nam ad aliam conditionem 
honestiorem satis habebat idoneam 
personam, et vires corporis quae nondum 
metas virilis aetatis excesserant. 

(6) Sanabatur autem facili modo in 
difficili morbo, quem et difficiliorem 
reddiderat annus exactus ex quo cre- 
verat in cute. Duas noctes in oratione 
pemoctavit apud nos, et discessit aquae 
modico faciem perfusus. Discedens 

' '• Emendatum," lit. "amended," 
but rendered as above in order to 
suggest the play on "mundus (clean)" 
and " mundus (the world)," " im- 
mundus," "emendatus," "emundatus." 




Benedict (ii. 259-60) 
of some months, received him 
again whole-cleansed. 

(7) Blessed be in all 
things the kind Providence of 
God, which stole away our 
clean Martyr from the [un- 
clean] world, that by his 
cleanness [freeing us] from 
worldly uncleanness he might 
cleanse the unclean. 

(8) For great indeed is 
the multitude of those whose 
skin, roughened with the 
tubers of leprosy, has been 
smoothed by the Martyr ; 
but to set forth the accounts 
of single cases singly, and 
[of all] collectively, presents 

William (i. 332-4) 

he shortly perceived its 
mighty and wonder-working 
virtue. When he returned 
to give thanks, he informed 
us of its efficacy ; and we 
believed him because his face, 
[now] cleansed, deserved to 
be credited. 

(7) William omits this. 

(8) [William devotes a 
page to the two points briefly 
touched on by Benedict : 
(i) the special mission of 
the Martyr, the great High 
Priest, to cure leprosy, (2) 
leprosy collectively as typi- 
fying sin, whether in the 

mensium decursum recepimus emun- 

(7) Benedicta in omnibus benigna 
Dei providentia, quae martyrem mundo 
mundum surripuit, ut mundus a mundi 
sordibus mundaret immundos. 

(8) Multi enim sunt valde, quorum 
hispidam leprae tuberibus cutem martyr 
complanavit ; sed de singulis singulatim 
conjunctimque explanari non congruit. 

ejus magnificam mirificamque virtutem 
sensit in brevi ; de cujus efficacia, cum 
rediret ad gratias, nobis indicavit, et 
credidimus, quia mundata facies fidem 
(7) om. 

(8) Quid, putas, agit impraesenti- 
arum Dominus curando tot leprosos ? 
nemini videatur onerosum si super hoc 
dixero quid sentiam Curat 




Benedict (ii, 259-60) 
an incompatibility. For 
even a sweet song oft re- 
peated causes, sooner or later, 
weariness. Lest therefore we 
wear a well-worn subject to 
the point of disgusting our 
readers, let us await some- 
thing new.^ 

William (i. 332-4) 
" viper - form (tyriam)," the 
" lion-form (leoninam)," " the 
elephant-form (elephantiam)," 
and the "fox-form (alo- 
peciam)," or in " any other 
genus of leprosy excogitated 
by the physical student." 

" By benefits such as 
these," he concludes, "the good 
are invited onward to [new] 
goodness, the bad are called 
back from evil : and modern 
ages (God be thanked ! ) 
see such a [spiritual] progress 
as has not been from the time 
when the apostles ceased to 
be seen on earth."] 

[768] There is a remarkable contrast between these two 
narratives. Both agree, indeed, in making the cure of this 
Hugh an occasion for some remarks on leprosy in general ; 
but, whereas Benedict says he cannot treat of leprosies 
singly and collectively at the same time, William attempts 
this very task, giving two accounts of completely cured 
lepers, one from abroad, one at home, and at the same time 
entering into a disquisition on the kinds and cures of leprosy 
and on their spiritual meanings. It would seem that William 
was attempting to improve upon Benedict.^ 

Nam et dulcis cantus frequentatus igitur omnem lepram, non modo tyriam, 

adducit quandoque feistidium. Ne ergo leoninam, sed elephantiam et alopeciam, 

usque ad taedium trita teramus, novi et siquid aliud leprae genus physicus ex- 

aliquid exspectemus.* cogitat. Curat et spiritualem lepram, etc. 

" Here ends Benedict's Fifth Book (see 584). 

' If we knew the history of this miracle we should probably find that, like 
the case of William of Horsepool (565), it had been exaggerated by some who 
(ii. 224) "de parvis magna loquebantur. " 


[769] William's narrative must have been written after 
I 174,- Almost certainly, therefore, he had Benedict's facts 
before him. If so, he suppressed one important fact, (i) 
that the leper was in great measure cured before he reached 
Canterbury. He does not suppress, but he does not 
emphasize as Benedict does, the fact (2) that he was not 
completely cured when he was sent back from Canterbury. 

[770] As in other instances, Benedict's narrative shews 
two distinct styles, (i) the Hebraic, in which the sentences, 
introduced by the monotonous " and," are thrown into 
simple and Scriptural forms, and (2) the monkish, or jingling 
antithetical, mostly reserved for the prologue and epilogue, 
but occasionally emerging in the body of the story. These 
two styles may imply two different hands (Benedict being 
the chronicler and some one else the retoucher and dramatic 
adapter), or merely the two different moods of the historical 
narrator and the monkish moralizer. The "jingling" style 
will be found exemplified in the opening of Benedict's next 

§ 16. William of Gloucester is saved from a fall of earth 
[771] Benedict (ii. 261-3) William (i. 253-6) 

(i) We sighed for some- (i) Roger, Bishop {sic) 

thing new. By something of York, a man of the first 
new we are kindled anew to rank in learning, human and 
a new love of the Martyr divine, if only his knowledge 
(see 770). had been " according to 

knowledge," ^ once a rival of 

(I) Novasuspiravimus. Novis jam ( i ) Aemulum suum martyr Thomas 

de novo in novi Anglorum martyris Rogerium, Heboracensem episcopum, 
amorem accendimur. virum in humanis rebus et divinis ap- 

prime eruditum, si secundum scientiam * 

* The date of King Henry's visit to St. Thomas's tomb. 

' Rom. X. 2 "a zeal for God, but 
not according to knowledge," 

>5 771 


Benedict (ii. 261-3) 

(2) A new thing hath 
the Lord wrought on the 
earth, yea, under the earth. 
For the earth fell in and 
compassed a man round, and 
pressed him sore on all sides 
yet pressed him not to death. 
A man, unharmed, supported 
what might have overwhelmed 
a multitude of oxen. 

This came to pass in a 
village near Gloucester, called 
in English Churchdown, in the 
case of a man whose name 
was William. The man was 

William (i. 253-6) 
the Martyr Thomas, received 
a warning as to the need of 
charity among brethren and 
peace between members of 
the Church, from a miracle 
of a very novel kind. 

(2) For the Archbishop 
Roger was bringing water 
into his town of Churchdown 
from the brow of a hill about 
five hundred paces off. Now 
the ground midway swells 
into a small hill looking 
down on the surrounding 
level from a steep top, about 
twenty-four feet high. The 
work being at its height,? this 
hill was dug through so that 
it might receive the aqueduct 
direct through the opening 
in its depths. The work was 

(2) Novum fecit Dominus super 
terrain, immo sub terra. Terra enim 
corruens circumdedit virum, et undique 
comprimens non oppressit. Portavit 
homo illaesus quod lx)ves multos posset 
obruere. Apud villam hoc factum est 
Gloecestriae vicinam, quae Anglice 
Cherchesdun appellatur, in homine cui 
nomen erat Willelmus. Faciebat homo 
ille aquaeductum, et stans in defosso 

sciens esset, novitate mirandae rei fra- 
temae charitatis admonuit et ecclesias- 
ticae pacis. 

(2) Duxit siquidem aquam antistes 
Rogerius in villam suam Cherchesdune 
a supercilio montis quasi quingentis 
passibus remoto. Tumet autem collis 
in medio, circumjacentium aequora 
camporum erecto vertice despiciens, 
altitudinis viginti quatuor circiter 
pedum. Qui, cum ferveret opus,- 
transfossus est, ut aquae ductum patulo 
sinu receptum traduceret per directum. 

- This seems the most probable 



Benedict (ii. 261-3) 

making an aqueduct. It 
was about the tenth hour.^ 
The depth of the pit is said 
to have amounted to twenty- 
four feet : and the impending 
earth fell with a crash upon 
him as he worked [below], 
filling the pit to the level of 
the surrounding soil. 

(3) Benedict omits this. 

William (i, 253-6) 

being pressed on by one 
William, who had hired out 
his services ^ from the neigh- 
bouring town of Gloucester. 
Just when he was laying the 
leaden pipe at the bottom of 
the cutting in the hill, the 
vast mass of earth thrown 
out from the work fell forward 
on the top of him.* 

(3) His companions leapt 
away to right and left, and 
would have made an effort 
to dig him out, buried as he 
was all round,^ when lo, once 
more, the earth on the brink 
of the cutting broke clean 
away, and the impending 
heap rolled down and cut off 

terrae calamum plumbeum protendebat. 
Hora erat quasi decima ; * foveae pro- 
funditas pedum viginti quatuor dicitur 
exstitisse. Et corruit terra pendula 
super operantem, foveamque repletam 
reliquae terrae coaequavit. 
(3) om. 

Instabat operi quidam Willelmus, qui 
locaverat operas' suas ex oppido 
Gloecestria vicino. Super quum,* 
cum plum beam fistulam in imo trans- 
fossi collis collocaret, proruit moles 
ruinosa telluris egestae. 

(3) Dissilientibus hinc inde sociis, 
et volentibus eum jam circum ^ obrutum 
effodere, ecce rursus abrupta crepidine 
fragilis et pendula congeries devoluta 

I.e. 4 P.M. 

' " Locare suam operam" (sing.) 
is used by Plautus in this sense. Per- 
haps the plural here means "his 
services and those of his workmen." 

* "Super quum," an error for 
"super quern." 

* i.e. not yet covered up, but "all 
round " up to the armpits, or neck. 




Benedict (ii. 261-3) 

(4) But before [this] 
burial, as though he were 
[already] dead," he cried, 
" St. Thomas, glorious Martyr, 
if the tales told of thee are 
true, succour me that I may 
be snatched hence living. 
If thou wilt save me alive, 
I will visit the place 
where thou didst live and 

He was standing, bowed 

William (i. 253-6) 

the young man from all aid. 
The earth - fall might be 
reckoned at about a hundred 
small cart-loads.^' 

(4) He remained stand- 
ing, leaning forward, his 
hands spread before his face, 
with nothing but a shirt on, 
for he had been hard at work. 
So seeing that all means 
of getting out ' were closed 
against him, he sought the 
first and last refuge of all 
who are in sore need, by 
sighing unto the Lord. He 
invoked also the blessed 

(4) lUe vero ante sepultunun, quasi 
mortuus,* '* Sancte Thoma," inquit, 
"gloriose mart)T, si vera sunt quae de 
te dicuntur, succurre, ut hinc \ivus 
eripiar. Si vivum me consen-averis, 
locum ubi et viviis et mortuus fuisti 
visitabo. " Cumque incurvatus staret et in 

juvenem interdpit. Poterant in casu 
quasi centum onera bigarum ^ aestimari. 
(4) Stabat autem ille pronus, faciei 
manibus oppansis, solaque vestitus 
intenila, sicut operi se studiosus appli- 
caverat. Qui \'idens quod sibi prae- 
cluderetur effugium," primum et 
postremum cujuslibet necessitatis 
reiugium, suspiravit ad Dominuni. 

* " Ante sepulturam, quasi mortuus" 
might also mean " As though all but 
dead, he repeated a prayer, as a pre- 
liminary to interment." But the 
prayer to St. Thomas would surely be 
uttered in the faith that he would not 
die and that he was not already dead. 
Hence the Editor ingeniously suggests 
"ante sepultus quam mortuus," "in- 
terred before he was dead." Sense 
would also be made by "ante . . . 
mortui," " before this interment, so to 
sjicak, of the dead." 

^ " Bigae." Benedict, in (4), says 

' The translation does not keep 
the play on the words " effugium," 
" refugium." 




Benedict (ii. 261-3) 
forward, and, as he prayed 
thus, his breath was being at 
every instant cut shorter and 
shorter, when there came an 
unexpected eructation, and 
the eructation was followed 
by vomiting, and the vomiting 
by a free power of breathing. 
So he cried without 
ceasing to the Martyr, being 
interred all that night, and 
during the following day up 
till the third hour.^ About 
his death there was but one 
opinion in all those who had 
been on the spot. No one 
at all could doubt the death 
of one crushed under such a 
mass. Yet by the virtue 
[that went forth] from the 
Martyr this one frail creature 
was enabled to support the 

William (i. 253-6) 
Virgin Mary, who, according 
to her name, is a star unto 
those who are tossed in 
the troubled sea of human 
calamity, guiding them to 
the haven of eternal bliss. 
But the Lord did not send 
succour at the invocation of 
His own name, because He 
purposed to glorify His own 

What should the poor 
man do, cut off from help by 
the fall of so vast a mass ? 
Breath was denied by the 
interception of air ; all aid of 
man was shut out by the 
mass heaped on him. So he 
began to feel distended by 
the breath pent up within 
him : and when he was in 
such agony as almost to 

hune modum oranti jam jamque praeclu- 
deretur anhelitus, ex insperato eructavit, 
eructationem vomitus secutus est, vomi- 
tum anhelandi facultas libera. Clamavit 
igitur incessanter ad martyrem sepultus 
nocte ilia tota, die etiam sequenti usque 
ad horam tertiam.^ De morte ejus 
omnibus, qui affuerant, una eademque 
sententia. Nemo penitus ambigeret 
mortuum, quem tanta moles oneraret ; 
sed martyris virtute centum et eo 

Invocavit et beatam virginem Mariam, 
quae, secundum nomen suum, fluctu- 
antibus in turbulento salo calamitatis 
humanae, stella est ad portum felicitatis 
aeternae. Sed non succurrit Dominus 
ad invocatum nomen suum, quia 
mirificaturus erat martyrem suum. 
Quid faciat miser, ruina tantae molis 
interceptus? Spiramen negat aer 
interclusus, excludit congesta moles 
omne juvamen humanum. Coepit 
igitur incluso spiritu distendi ; cumque 

I.e. 9 A.M. 




Benedict (ii. 261-3) 
weight of a hundred large 
cart-loads and more. 

William (i. 253-6) 
breathe his last, the name of 
Thomas the Martyr came 
into his mind, and he said, 
" St Thomas, men say that 
thou hast power with thy 
Lord and that thou canst 
easily obtain [from Him] 
that which thou art asked 
[to obtain]. If thou art so 
holy and great as men's 
mouths declare, aid me in 
my extreme need ; loose me 
from this miserable trap ; 
lead me out of this dungeon, 
restoring me to my former 
place. [Then] shalt thou be 
for a refuge to me, and I will 
seek the place consecrated 
by thy precious blood, where 
for the liberty of the Church 
thou didst contend while 
living, and conquer when 

amplius quadriganim onus unus ho- 
rn undo supportabat. 

ad exspirandum vexaretur, incidit in os 
ejus nomen martyris Thomae. Et ait, 
" Beate Thoma, homines aiunt quia 
potens es apud Dominum tuum, et 
facile quod rogaris potes impetrare. 
Si ita sanctus es et tantus ut ore populi 
praedicaris, adjuva me in extremis 
constitutum ; absolve miserrime depre- 
hensum ; educ me de carcere isto, 
restituens in gradum pristinum. Eris 
mihi in refugium, et petam locum 
pretioso sanguine tuo consecratum, ubi 
pro libertate ecclesiasticavivus decertasti 
et mortuus evicisti." Haec dicens 






Benedict (ii. 261-3) 

(5) The Priest of the 
town became anxious * about 
the soul of the dead man, not 

William (i. 253-6) 

Saying these words — for 
we do not invent such words 
as he might have said, but 
we say the very same words 
that he did say, preferring to 
set down less [than the truth] 
rather than to speak beyond 
the truth — he breathed forth 
(in copious eructation) the 
wind with which his stomach 
had been distended, and was 
further relieved by vomiting. 
From that time he regained 
the power of breathing. 

(5) This was what was 
going on in the heart of the 
earth. And there was raised 

(5) Fit sollicitus* ejusdem villae 
sacerdos de anima mortui, ignorans 

(neque enim confingimus quae potuit 
dixisse, sed dicimus haec eadem quae 
dixit, malentes minus apponere quam 
praeter veritatem loqui) — ventum quo 
distentus intumuerat multis eructationi- 
bus efflavit, et vomens alleviatus est. Ex 
tunc praestita est spirandi facultas. 

(5) Haec in corde terrae gerebantui. 
Factus est autem clamor " Sacerdos, 

* "Became anxious." This frivo- 
lous sentence is contrary to the fact (as 
stated by William) that the Priest was 
"sent for." The fact that it uses 
•'sacerdos" while the next uses "pres- 
byter " suggests that it may have been 
an insertion, for the sake of a joke, by 
a humorous Editor. It must be ad- 
mitted, however, that the next sentence 
partakes of jocosity, and " presbyter " 
may have been used for "sacerdos" 
for the sake of variety. But is this 
Benedict's style (770) ? 

S 771 



Benedict (ii. 261-3) 

knowing that the man's soul 
was more anxious about his 
body, which was still living. 
So the Priest celebrated the 
exequies for him, not the last, 
as he supposed, but the first.^ 

(6) Benedict omits this. 

William (i. 253-6) 

a cry " Priest ! Priest ! For 
he is dead." So the Priest 
was called, and paid the 
funeral rites, after the dis- 
charge of which he returned 
to his home. But the man 
underground, for the space of 
that night, left to himself and 
the earth,^ awaited the Martyr's 

(6) Fifty -one days had 
now run their course since 
the summer solstice, and as 
the sun was on the point of 
passing from the Lion to the 
Virgin, the nights were grow- 
ing longer. Yet in the length 
of the nights ^ the Lord sent 

quod anima hominis sollicitior esset de 
corpora suo, adhuc vivente. Celebrat 
igitur pro ea presbyter exsequias, non 
ultimas, ut putabat, sed primas.^ 

(6) om. 

[sacerdos], quia mortuus est ! " Unde 
accitus exsequialia impendit, quibus 
expletis in propria recessit. Obrutus 
autem, per spatium noctis sibi soloque * 
dimissus, misericordiam martyris ex- 

(6) Jam ab aestivali solstitio quin- 
quaginta dies et unus excurrerant, 
solemque Leo transmissurus inVirginem 
noctumis spatiis indulgebat. In tanta 
tamen noctium longitudine ** factus est 

^ Perhaps he means that this man 
was destined to have the funeral service 
twice read over him. This was his 
/irsl funeral. 

^ "Sibi soloque" not improbably 
intended as a pun. "Sibi solique" 
might mean, in bad Latin, "to himself, 
and (that) alone." 

" The meaning seems to be that 
the longer night, affording scope for 
dreams, was made instrumental for the 
man's deliverance through a dream. 




Benedict (ii. 261-3) 

(7) Now when morning 
came, it happened that a 
young man of that town, led 
by the Divine will, passed 
across the spot and heard a 
subterraneous sound. And 
by chance meeting the town- 
crier (? bailiff) he said to 
him, " Assuredly that man 
buried in the earth-fall yester- 
day is alive." " What you 
say," replied the other, " is 
impossible. He died on the 
instant." The young man 

William (i. 253-6) 

help to him in his tribulation. 
For a woman, a native of the 
village, saw a vision and said 
to her son in the morning, 
" I think, my son, that the 
man underground lives still ; 
for I saw in my sleep that he 
drank milk and slept in milk." 
(7) Forthwith, contrary 
to his wont, the youth rose 
from his bed and went out 
into the fields, not of any set 
purpose but as chance led 
him ; and, as though guided 
by the Spirit, he reached — 
I will not call it the water- 
place but the sighing-place ; 
and, putting his ear to the 
ground, he heard as it were a 
groaning. And shouting to 
the man in charge of the 
fields — who had gone out early 

(7) Mane autem facto, contigit 
juvenem de villa eadem, nutu divino 
ductum, per locum ilium transire et 
sonum audire subterraneum. Casuque 
occurrens villae praeconi, '* Vere," 
inquit, " homo ille hestema die obrutus 
vivit." At ille, " Impossibile est quod 
ais ; in momento exspiravit." E contra 

ei Dominus adjutor in tribulatione. 
Nam vidit mulier indigena visionem, et 
ait mane filio sue, " Puto, fili, quod 
obrutus ille vivit adhuc ; nam vidi per 
somnum quod et lac potaret et in lacte 

(7) Ille protinus praeter consuetu- 
dinem surgens a lecto in agros egredie- 
batur, non de industria, sed quo casus 
ferebat ; et tanquam deductus Spiritu 
pervenit ad locum, non jam aquae- 
ductus, sed luctus ; et aurem solo 
defigens tanquam audivit gemitum. 
Exclamansque ad agrorum custodem, 
qui ad considerandum jumentum matu- 




Benedict (ii. 261-3) 
retorted, "If you doubt it, 
come and listen." 

He agreed, and applied 
his ear to the earth's surface ; 
and his hesitating doubt ^' was 
banished from his heart. 

(8) Benedict omits this. 

(9) The report of it was 
noised abroad in the town. 

William (i. 253-6) 
in the morning to look after 
the cattle which he had turned 
out at nightfall — "Hulloa," 
he said, " he still lives : for I 
hear something like a man 
groaning and lamenting." " It 
is naught," said the other : 
" and if all Gloucester said the 
contrary, I would not believe 
them." The boy rejoined, 
"Come and listen": and when 
they heard it, 

(8) the other carries word 
to the Priest that the man 
was alive. Forthwith the 
Priest broke off divine service 
and came to the spot with 
all the people. 

(9) And word was carried 
likewise to Gloucester that 

juvenis, "Si haesitas, veni et audi." 
Adquievit, et auribus ad superficiem 
terrae admotis, amota est a corde ejus 
cunctatio, qua dubitavit." 

(8) om. 

(9) Rumor in villa insonuit. Con- 

tinus exierat quod sub divo nocte di- 
miserat, '• Heus ! " inquit ; " vivit ad- 
huc ; nam tanquam lacrymabilem 
gemitum hominis ego audio." Re- 
spondit, '* Nihil est, et si omnes Gloe- 
cestrenses assererent, non crederem." 
Subjunxit, *' Veni et audi " ; et cum 

(8) nuntiavit alter sacerdoti quia 
viveret ; qui protinus cum populo venit 
ad locum, intermisso divine officio. 

(9) Et nuntiatum est similiter Gloe- 

'■ "Cunctatio qua dubitavit " is a 
strangely superfluous phrase. More- 
over, it is asserted above that he did 
not merely "doubt," but absolutely 





Benedict (ii. 261-3) 

The people flock together 
with prongs, (?) mattocks, and 
digging tools of divers kinds ; 
the soil is removed ; the man 
is released from his grave. 
When drawn out, living, and 

William (i. 253-6) 

the man still breathed. And 
they came — all that had a 
liking and affection for their 
neighbour — grey-beards, boys 
and women, with besoms, 
pans, tubs, and other rustic 
utensils, setting to work to 
clear away the soil. 

The man underground, 
hearing them at their noisy 
work, each striving to get to 
him before the others, began 
to accost those who were 
standing above,^° both those 
close at hand and those far 
off — lest they [t.e. the former] 
should either hurt him with 
their tools or [the latter 
should] keep at too cautious 
a distance. And the day 
wore on to the third hour.^^ 

currit populus cum vangis et ligonibus 

et generis diversi fossoriis. ToUitur 

humus ; extumulatur homo ; vivus et 
illaesus extractus, 

cestriae quia spiraret adhuc. Vene- 
runtque quotquot erant pronae devo- 
taeque mentis in proximum, senex, puer, 
mulier, solumque scopis, paropsidibus, 
alveolis, et aliis rusticanis utensilibus 
incumbentes rejiciebant. Obrutus 
autem, tumultuantes audiens et invicem 
se labore praevenientes, ad prope 
longeque stantes desuper i^obloquebatur, 
ne vel ipsum ferramentis laederent vel 
se nimis absentarent ; et processit dies 
in tertiam." Tum tandem sepultus 

10 «« Desuper." Editor suggests 
" desubter." But perhaps " desuper " 
may modify ' ' stantes. " 

" i.e. 9 A.M. 

§771 HIS MIRACLES 231 

Benedict (ii. 261-3) William (i. 253-6) 

Then at last the buried man 
appeared, with his cheeks 
badly bruised and his arms 
crushed almost to breaking, 
his body stiff and frozen 
with the cruel subterranean 
(10) Benedict omits this. (10) So he was restored 

to the living that sinners 
might emerge from the dead. 
For, as we believe, it was for 
the purposes of reformation 
that the Martyr saved the 
[bodily] life of [this] innocent 
man that the guilty also might 
save their [spiritual] life.^^ 
And this you may conjecture 
from the fact that when he 
had (?) previously ^^ delayed 

apparuit, genas collisus citraque frac- 

turam brachia contritus, subterranei 

frigoris asperitate rigidus et congelatus. 

(10) om. (10) Restitutus est itaque superis, 

ut peccatores emergerent ab inferis. 
Ad correctionem enim credimus mar- 
tyrem salvasse animam innocentis, ut 
et nocentes salvarent animas'^ suas. 
Quod inde conjicias, quia cum prae- 
cedente'3 tempore distulisset se Can- 

^^ "Animam , . . animas" — "life 
. . . souls." 

IS <• Praecedente." But this is 
extremely abrupt. It assumes some 
previous vow, of which we are told 
nothing, and moreover a vow in 
return for some deliverance granted by 



55 771 

Benedict (ii. 261-3) 

(11) he proclaimed to 
all the mighty work of the 
Martyr Thomas ; and, visit- 
ing the Martyr, he certified 
us with a letter of the follow- 
ing nature, anticipated, 
ever, long before, by the 
arrival of rumours and re- 
ports about the matter : 

William (i. 253-6) 

to present himself publicly 
at Canterbury, some woman 
was told in a dream that he 
was rash in delaying to 
manifest at the Martyr's tomb 
this manifestation of the 
Divine pity, and that he 
would not escape punish- 
ment if he presumed to delay 

(11) All this was related 
to us by the very man that 
had endured it, and he 
brought us a letter worded 
as follows : 

(11) martyris Thomae virtutem 
praedicavit omnibus, et martyrem 
visitans litteris nos certificavit hujus- 
modi ; quas tamen rei hujus fama 
longe ante praevenerat. 

tuariae palam facere, dictum est alicui 
mulieri in somnis quia temerarius esset 
qui divinae pietatis ostentum apud 
sepulchrum martyris diflferret ostendere, 
et quia supplicium non esset evasurus 
si ulterius differre praesumeret. 

(II) Haec idem vir qui pertulerat 
retulit nobis, et obtulit litteras in haec 
verba : — 

St. Thomas which required a '* public " 

Almost certainly we should read 
" procedente," i.e. "when time passed 
on and he [still] delayed. " 

§772 HIS MIRACLES 233 

Benedict (ii. 261-3), William (i. 253-6) 

(12) "To his venerable lord and father, Prior of Holy 
Trinity of Canterbury [William omits " of Canterbury "], 
and to the whole convent, Godfrey, Dean of Gloucester, 
[sends] health. 

[772] " Know that the bearer of this, William [by name], 
was buried in the bottom of a pit twenty-four [William, "twenty- 
three"] feet deep, while all his companions escaped ; and that he 
remained interred for the space of one night and the following 
day up to the third hour [t.e. 9 A.M.], and the whole of the 
obsequies were performed, as for one dead. But when the 
man perceived that death was imminent, he invoked God, 
and prayed that, for love [William, " by the merits "] of His 
most glorious Martyr Thomas He would deliver him from 
such peril ; and he made a vow aloud that he would go to 
the place where St. Thomas fell. These sounds being heard 
by some that happened to cross the place, they brought 
word to the whole of the town that they had heard a man's 
voice in the pit. Then the Priest, and more than a hundred 
men, went thither and drew him out. 

" But many other miracles, besides, are wrought daily 
among us through Christ's most glorious Martyr, Thomas, 
which, intending to come to you shortly, if God will, I will 
relate to you." 

(12) " Venerabili domino et patri sue priori Sanctae Trinitatis Cantuariae 
totique conventui Gaufridus decanus Gloecestriae salutem. 

" Sciatis latorem praesentium Willelmum in profundo cujusdam foveae, quae 
erat viginti quatuor pedum, sociis suis , fugientibus obrutum fuisse, et jier unius 
noctis spatium et in crastino usque ad tertiam ibi fuisse sepultum, et pro eo 
sicut pro mortuo obsequium totum factum fuisse. Hie autem, sentiens sibi 
mortem imminere, Deum invocavit, et oravit ut pro amore gloriosissimi martyris 
sui Thomae a tali eum periculo liberaret, et votum clamando fecit iturum se ad 
locum ubi sanctus Thomas occubuit. Quem cum audissent quidam ibidem 
transeuntes, nunciaverunt toti villae se vocem humanam in fovea ilia audisse. 
Sacerdos vero et plusquam centum homines illuc pergentes extraxerunt eum. Sed 
et alia multa miracula fiunt quotidie apud nos per gloriosissimum Christi martyrem 
Thomam, quae vobis in brevi iturus ad vos, Deo annuente, narralx). " 




Benedict (ii. 261-3) 

(13) This was the tenor 
of the document, agreeing in 
all points with the testimony 
of the people who had been 
on the spot. And accord- 
ingly he/ with many others, 
came for a testimony, that he 
might bear testimony con- 
cerning the light.^ If we 
receive the testimony of 
men, the testimony of God 
is greater.^ And this is 
" the testimony of God " 
which is "greater" — [namely,] 

William (i. 253-6) 

(13) William omits this. 

(13) Hie erat tenor apicum, testi- 
monio populi qui affuerat per omnia 
concordantium. Et is itaque cum aliis 
multis^ venit in testimonium, ut testi- 
monium perhiberet de lumine.® Si 
testimonium hominum accipimus, testi- 
monium Dei majus est ; " hoc est autem 

^ " Et is itaque cum aliis multis" 
seems needless, if it refers to the man 
buried : for his visit has been mentioned 
above in (11). It ought naturally to 
refer to the Dean of Gloucester, and 
"accordingly" would then mean " j« 
accordance" with the promise in his 

8 John i. 7, 8. 

* I John V. 9, The writer's 
meaning seems to be that the oral and 
documentary evidence of this particular 
miracle is, as it were, merged in the 
collective evidence as to the Martyr's 
power, and as to its harmony with the 
Divine dispensation for the later ages 
of the Church. 

§774 HIS MIRACLES 235 

Benedict (ii. 261-3) 

that with which he had 
lately ^° testified concerning 
His Martyr. 

[773] By his graphic account of the place, and nature, 
of the accident ; the man's attitude when caught (" with his 
hands spread before his face ") ; his exact words (which he 
professes to record as being what the man did say, not what 
he might have said) ; the poor fellow's fears lest some of his 
deliverers should come too close and wound him with their 
tools, and lest others should keep too far off, and not 
get him out soon enough ; and, above all, the man's pitiable 
condition, when rescued, with his cheeks and arms bruised 
and crushed almost to breaking, and frozen with the sub- 
terranean cold — William justifies his claim that he received 
his account from the buried man himself 

[774] Benedict (or his scribe) — who alone (incidentally) 
tells us that the letter from the Dean of Gloucester brought 
by the buried man was anticipated by " reports and rumours " 
— seems to have composed an earlier rough draft from 
these reports, which, he says, had reached him " long before." 
This may have been afterwards revised in the light of a 
letter from the Dean of Gloucester, and perhaps of oral com- 
munications from him. But Benedict does not appear to 
have taken notes, in such full detail as William, from the 
sufferer's own account. He received from him, or from some 
of the " reports and rumours," the account of the prayer and 

testimonium Dei, quod majus est, quo 
nuper ^^ testificatus est de martyre suo. 

'" " Nuper " may refer not to this 
miracle alone, but to all the Martyr's 
miracles, which, when compared with 
the miracles of the apostolic age, are 
sometimes described as "moderna," 
and here as occurring "mirxr."' /.,-. in 
these last times. 


vow to St. Thomas, the *' eructation," followed by the " vomit- 
ing," and then by power to breathe : and he also gives us 
the details of depth (" twenty-four feet ") and of time (" all 
night till the third hour next day "), from the Dean's letter. 
But he does not make us clearly see, as William does, why 
the unfortunate plumber was so many feet beneath the 
earth, owing to the need of cutting through a hillock with a 
steep top ; he exaggerates slightly by speaking of the falling 
earth as levelling the pit with the surrounding earth, and (if 
William is right) more than slightly when he speaks of a 
" hundred four-horse carts " instead of " two-horse." Also, 
he does not know that, the man being from Gloucester, the 
Gloucester people turned out to his rescue, and that, besides 
men, there were women, and children too. As clerics might 
do, the Dean and Benedict spoke together about spades, 
mattocks, and " digging implements " : but they forget that the 
earth was loose and that even women and children could do 
much with " besoms," " pails," and " tubs," as William says 
they did. Again as clerics, they indulge in a little clerical 
amusement at the expense of the Churchdown parson who 
was anxious about the buried man's soul, while the buried 
man's soul, all the time, was more anxious about his body : 
but they omit the fact that it was the man's companions 
themselves, and the poor villagers, who raised the cry of 
" Priest ! Priest ! He's dead ! " 

[775] On the whole, we ought to be grateful to William 
for having taken careful notes from the sufferer, for making 
us realize the poor plumber's position when he was trapped, 
along with his pipes, under the earth-fall — and, we must add, 
for helping us to see that the man's deliverance may be 
explained without resort to the miraculous. In the first 
place, whereas the Dean of Gloucester says "the pit was 
twenty-rtiree (or, twenty-four) feet deep" the plumber simply 
says that the hillock through which he was cutting was 
" twenty-four feet high " — which is not quite the same thing. 

§777 HIS MIRACLES 237 

Also William tells us that he was laying his pipes at the 
moment of his fall : and it is quite possible that the piping 
may have given some access to the air. The fact that his 
voice was heard at the surface indicates that, either through 
the loose soil, or through the piping, some air penetrated to 
the man underground. 

[776] Nevertheless, if the man had not had faith to con- 
tinue crying to St. Thomas, he would not have been heard ; 
and if he had not been heard, he would not have been saved. 
And again, if the woman of Churchdown had not dreamed 
about the plumber, her son would not have got up early that 
morning, " contrary to his wont," and gone out into the 
fields ; and if he had not done both these things, he would 
not have heard the plumber in time. So we may say that 
the buried man was saved by St. Thomas, and also saved by 
the woman, or by her dream, or by the causes of her dream. 
It is of course true that, all through that night, thou- 
sands of ailing and troubled people in England and France 
were calling on St. Thomas to save them, and calling in vain. 
Still the fact remains, that this one did call, and was saved. 

v^ 17. Salerna of I field, after throwing herself into a well, 
is preserved from death 

[777] Benedict (ii. 263-6) William (i. 258-61) 
(1) Led astray by the (i) In an estate of Can- 
instigation of the servants terbury Cathedral is a village 
in her father's house, one called in the English lan- 
Salerna, daughter of Thomas guage Yfeld, where happened 
of Yffeld, stole a cheese from a wonderful matter worthy 
her mother and passed it on of relation, 
to them. The mother, by For in the house of one 

( I ) Famularum paternae domus se- ( I ) I" fundo quodam Cantuariensis 

ducta instinctu Thomae filia de YfTeld, ecclesiae vicus est dictus Anglica lingua 

Salerna nomine, caseum matri suae Yfeld, quo res admiranda contigit, dign.i 

surripuit, eisque contradidit. Mater relatu. In domo namque cujusdam 



i? 777 

Benedict (ii. 263-6) 

chance noting that the cheese 
had been taken away .^accused 
the girl of doing it, and 
threatened her severely when 
she denied it. As threats 
did no good, she tried blows, 
declaring that the girl should 
be whipped to death next 
day, unless she confessed her 

William (i. 258-61) 

Thomas, a man of no mean 
rank according to [this] world, 
during the mother's absence, 
the servants (greedy for a 
good breakfast, as servants 
are) asked two of the daugh- 
ters for some cheese to flavour 
their bread. Thus they took 
advantage of the thoughtless- 
ness of the younger of the two 
— she was called Salerna — 
who, having got the keys, went 
at will in and out of the larder. 
On her return home, the 
mother, not finding the full 
number of the cheeses, called 
the daughters to account, and, 
on their denial, suspecting the 
younger, she whipped her 
soundly and threatened her 
with something worse. 

caseum casu * advertit sublatum ; im- 
petit commisso puellam, neganti com- 
minatur. Minis non proficiens, apponit 
et verbera, asserens earn usque ad ex- 
halationem spiritus flagellandam in 
crastino, nisi reatum confiteatur. 

Thomae, viri non ignobilis secundum 
saeculum, absente matrefamilias, fami- 
lia, sicut fit, jentaculum liguriensrogabat 
duas filias-familias caseum sibi dare ad 
condiendum panem. Eo circumvene- 
runt imprudentiam minoris natu, 
Salerna vocabulo, quae clavibus acceptis 
licenter ingrediebatur et egrediebatur 
promptuarium. Rediens autem domum 
materfamilias numerum caseorum non 
inveniens, convenit filias ; quibus rem 
furtivam inficientibus, minorem natu 
suspectam habens, flagris cecidit, et 
saeviora minabatur. 

1 Probably a pun is intended in 
caseum casu." 




Benedict (ii. 263-6) 

(2) It was the Sabbath 
on that day, [but not for her],- 
Then the girl, more anxious 
about the future than sorry 
for the past, spent almost the 
whole of the following night, 
without sleep, in tears and 
lamentations, saying, " St. 
Thomas, guard me ! St. 
Thomas, aid me ! Aid me, 
St. Thomas ! Guard me, 
St. Thomas ! " 

Next morning, when she 

William (i. 258-61) 

(2) When next morning 
came, the mother went to 
prayers at a chapel about 
three furlongs from her house. 
Now it chanced that a servant 
from the mill had come sooner 
than was expected — so Pro- 
vidence had ordained — and 
had gone to sleep on a heap 
of fodder. 

But the girl, bent on self- 
destruction, which she had 
planned during the fears and 

(2) Erat autem sabbatum in die 
ilia, sed non illi.- Turn ilia, futuri 
mali magis sollicita quam dolens prae- 
teriti, noctem subsequentem fere totam 
duxit insomnem, flens et ejulans, ac 
dicens, " Sancte Thoma, consule mihi ; 
sancte Thoma, adjuva me ; adjuva me, 
sancte Thoma ; consule mihi, sancte 
Thoma." Mane vero, cum matrem 

(2) Mane facto petiit oratorium 
quod tribus circiter stadiis distat a domo 
sua. Advenerat autem citius soiito 
famulus a molendino, disponente Do- 
mino qui providet quae ventura sunt, et 
incumbens farragini somnum petebat. 
Puella vero, circa pemiciem suam sol- 
licita nocte praemeditatam, quam prae 

"^ As her mother goes to church next 
day, it seems that Benedict, by " Sab- 
bath," means Saturday, as he certainly 
does elsewhere, e.g. 732 (12), when 
speaking of the Saturday in Holy Week. 
If so, it seems a meaningless play on 
the double meaning of "Sabbata," (i) 
" Saturday," (2) '« Sabbath," or ««rest." 

The words •* but not for her " are 
not in one of the MSS. ; and they may 
be an addition by some early scribe 
who hastily took the Sabbath to mean 
the day of rest. 

The only alternative is to suppose 
that the "Saturday half holiday" had 
in those days some sort of recognition. 
See 710 (I) (Latin) "derideant sabbata 




Benedict (ii. 263-6) 
knew her mother had started 
for church, she stepped out of 
doors, and went straight to a 
well with water in it,^ intend- 
ing to throw herself headlong 
into the well, in the hope 
that, if she could not avoid 
death, she might at least 
change the nature of the 

(.3) Now as she drew 
near to the well, she saw 
close beside her a form as of 
a woman going with her ; 
and it sought to constrain 
the girl (for indeed it was 
seeking the girl's soul), push- 
ing her on to the brink and 

William (i. 258-61) 

anxieties of a sleepless night, 
went by herself into an inner 
chamber, as though to seek 
her little brother, who was 
entrusted to her charge. And, 
shutting the door behind her, 
she stepped out into an 
orchard, where, crossing the 
hedge, she kept walking up 
and down, shrinking from the 
deed that she was planning. 

(3) On one side was the 
fear of death saying No : on 
the other was the instigation 
and impulsion of the enemy 
of the human race trans- 
formed into the appearance 
of one of the maid-servants. 
At length, leaping across the 

suam ad ecclesiam profectam fuisse cog- 
novisset, egressa perrexit ad puteum 
aquae,^ in puteum seipsam praecipita- 
tura, quatenus, si mortem declinare non 
posset, saltern mortis genus mutaret. 

(3) Ad puteum autem appropin- 
quans videbat juxta se quasi mulier- 
culam aliquam commeantem ; et vim 
faciebat quae quaerebat animam suam, 
impingens eam ad praecipitium ac 

timore duxerat insomnem, secessit in 
penitiorem domum, tanquam ad fratrem 
suum parvulum, cui custos deputabatur. 
Et accludens ostium post se egressa est 
in pomoerium, transiensque sepem ibat 
et redibat, facinus abhorrens quod 

(3) Prohibebat hinc timor mortis ; 
hinc instigabat et propellebat eam 
hostis humani generis, in speciem unius 
famularum transfiguratus. Tandem 
sepem transsiliens recludit os putei, et 

^ "Puteum aquae" perhaps in- 
tended to indicate that the well was 
not empty, or to distinguish it from 
(440, note) a cesspool. It cannot 
mean "/«// of water," as this will be 
seen below not to have been the case. 

55 777 



Benedict (ii. 263-6) 

saying, " Go, go ; you shall 
go in, you shall go in." 

At last she sat down 
above the well, and then, 
hanging by her hands from 
the well's edge, 

(4) at the instigation of 
him who is from below, she 
cast herself headlong * below, 
crying out with a loud voice, 
"Almighty God and St. 
Thomas be my guard ! " 

(5) Benedict omits this. 

William (i. 258-61) 

hedge, she opened the well's 
mouth, and, putting her legs 
in, she hung suspended by 
her arms. 

(4) Seeing this from a 
field in the distance, a swine- 
herd shouted [to her] ; and 
the girl, suspecting hindrance, 
let herself down into the well, 
exclaiming "The Lord and 
St. Thomas be my guard ! " 

(5) Ah, how watchful 
and diligent the Shepherd, 
snatching the lost sheep from 
the jaws of a present and 
eternal death, lest his flock 
should be robbed of a portion 

dicens, " Vade, vade ; introibis, in- 
troibis." Super puteum tandem con- 
sedit, et manibus ab ora putei pendens, 

(4) ejus instinctu qui de deorsum 
est, misit se deorsum praecipitem,* 
voce magna proclamans, " Deus om- 
nipotens consulat mihi et sanctus 
Thomas ! " 

(5) om. 

cruribus suis immissis a brachiis pe- 

(4) Quod ab agio prospiciente 
subulco, et clamante, suspicans se 
impeditam, se demisit in puteum, 
dicens, "Consulat mihi Dominus et 
beatus Thomas." 

(5) O pastorem vigilem et dili- 
gentem, perditam ovem de praesentis 
et aeternae mortis faucibus eripientem, 

* " Praecipitem " ought to mean 
this. But obviously the writer means 
nothing by it, inserting it contrary to 
the fact, as a mere expletive. The 
girl drops feet foremost. " Below " is 
repeated to indicate that the girl, as it 
were, gave herself to Satan in act, 
though not in word. 





§ 777 

Benedict (ii. 263-6) 

(6) And into the abyss 

William (i. 258-61) 

of its body ! ^ Ah, how 
pitiful and propitious the 
Father, saving a soul — though 
unwilling, and hostile to 
Himself — lest the enemy 
should exult over the damna- 
tion of His household ! The 
forethought of the Good 
Shepherd took heed for his 
successors, and for the shep- 
herds that should come after 
(lest the envy of detractors 
should triumph over them as 
sluggards not doing their 
pastoral duty), and for the 
diocese of Canterbury, lest it 
should bebranded with infamy. 
(6) Well, with many a 

(6) Et cecidit in abyssum et non 

ne grex sui corporis portione * vastare- 
tur ! O patrem pium et propitium, 
salvantem animam invitam et hostem 
sui, ne de damno familiae suae inimicus 
exsultaret ! Cavit prudentia boni pastoris 
successoribus suis et posteris pastoribus, 
ne livor eis obtrectatorum tanquam desi- 
dibus et pastoralem curam non agentibus 
insultaret. Ca\-it diocesi Cantuariensis 
ecclesiae, ne notaretur infamiae. 

(6) Igitur virgo multis circumacta 

^ The metaphor of the flock is 
combined with that of a body, so that 
a sheep corresponds to a limb. 

It is not clear, in what follows, 
whether "Father" and "Shepherd" 
(which often mean St. Thomas) mean 
the Sa\nour or the Martyr. Probably 
they mean the latter. Benedict (7) 
("God aitd the Martyr") perhaps 
intends to meet doubts of this kind. 




Benedict (ii. 263-6) 

she fell and was not utterly 
destroyed,'^ because the Lord 
placed His hand beneath her. 
For He heard her and her 
cry, and went down with her 
into the pit, and took her up 
out of many waters, that the 
depth of the abyss might not 
swallow her up, nor the deep 
waters of Satan close fast 
their mouth over her. 

Three or four times was 
she immersed, and as often 
did she emerge. But when, 
fetching her breath, she 
called out, "St. Thomas, 
aid me!" 

est collisa,* quia Dominus supposuit 
manuiti suam. Audivit enim earn et 
vocem ipsius, descenditque cum ilia in 
foveam, et assumpsit cam de aquis 
multis, ne absorberet cam abyssi pro- 
fundum, neque urgeret super eam in- 
ferni puteus os suum. 

Immersa itaque tertio vel quarto, 
totidemque vicibus emersa, cum re- 
spirans clamasset, "Sancle Thoma, 
adjuva me ! " 

William (i. 258-61) 

whirling revolution, the girl 
was plunged in and went 
down thrice to the bottom of 
the water. Emerging for 
the fourth time,- she seemed 
to have heard St. Thomas 
saying ^ " Thou shalt not die. 
Thou shalt ascend from the 

rotationibus ad fundum aquae ter sub- 
mersa est. Quarto ^ emergens, \'isus est 
beatus Thomas dixisse,-' " Non morieris ; 
ascendes a puteo. " 

' "Collisa": probably an allusion 
to 2 Cor. iv. 9 " Cast down, yet not 
destroyed. " 

- A confusion of thought. The 
writer forgets that (as Benedict says) 
every "emerging" must have been 
preceded by an "immersing." The 
third " immersing " would be followed 
by the third (not "the fourth") 

3 " Dixisse," lit. "to have said." 
Benedict places these words of Si. 
Thomas later, in (10). 




Benedict (ii. 263-6) 
(7), [straightway], by some 
pressure of the Divine hand, 
the whole of the girl's body, 
even to the feet, was pressed 
upwards out of the water, 
and, through God, or the 
Martyr — nay, through God 
and the Martyr — her feet 
were set upon some sort of 
staff, and another staff was 
placed in her trembling hands 
to be a support for her. So 
she took her stand on the 
former, at the surface of the 
water, and stretched the latter 
against the side of the well, 
and leant upon it — not 
knowing at all either how 
she had come upon the first, 
or who had put the second 
into her hands. 

William (i. 258-61) 

(7) Wonderful, and scarce 
credible, is the tale I must 
now tell, yet without a touch 
of falsehood. 

The well was twenty-five 
great cubits high from the 
water up to the top, and 
eight from the water down to 
the bottom ; * and yet, though 
the depth was so great, the 
girl who cast herself headlong 
down, was preserved un- 
harmed. For the Divine 
Hand placed a beam across 
the well and set the poor 
shipwrecked creature on it, 
and gave into her hands a 
staff whereby to sustain her- 
self against the well's side. 

(7) impulsu quodam divino totum 
puellae corpus usque ad pedes de aquis 
expulsum est, et statuit Deus vel 
martjT, immo et Deus et martyr, super 
baculum quendam pedes ejus, et alium 
baculum in manus ejus tremulas ad- 
ministravit. Super alterum igitur in 
superficie aquae consistens, alteri contra 
putei parietem porrecto innitebatur, 
ignorans prorsus et qualiter super 
baculum venisset, et quis baculum 
secundum manibus ejus imposuisset. 

(7) Mira loquar et vix credenda, 
impermixta tamen falsitati. Puteus 
altus erat viginti quinque cubitis raagnis 
ab aqua sursum, octo vero penetrabat 
ab aqua deorsum ; * et cum tanta esset 
altitude putei, quae se praecipitem 
dedit illaesa conservata est. Nam 
lignum per transversum putei divina 
manus imposuit, naufragaeque super- 
impositae manibus baculum dedit, quo 
se sustentaret a latere putei. 

* See Benedict's different dimen- 
sions below (19). 


Benedict (ii. 263-6) William (i. 258-61) 

(8) Benedict omits this. (8) This is the Hand 

that is placed under the 
righteous man, so that, when 
he falls, he may not be utterly 
destroyed : for, as [the 
Scripture] says, " He will 
send help to him, and His 
arm shall strengthen him, 
that the enemy may not 
prevail against him,^ and the 
son of iniquity may not pro- 
ceed to do him more hurt." 
This is the Hand that brought 
the children of Israel forth 
from the bondage of Egypt, 
Jonah from the whale's belly, 
Daniel from the lion's den,^ 
Peter from prison, Paul from 
the depth of the sea — which 
also created the climbing 
gourd to give shade to the 
prophet from the noonday 
heat : this same created also 

(8) om. (8) Manus haec est quae viro justo 

supponitur cadenti ne coUidatur ; sicut 
enim ait, " Auxiliabitur ei, et brachium 
ejus confirmabit eum, ut non proficiat 
inimicus in eo,* et filius iniquitatis non 
apponat nocere ei." Manus haec est 
quae filios Israel eduxit ab A^yptia 
servitute, Jonam de ventre ceti, 
Danielem de lacu « leonum, Petrum de 
carcere, Paulum de profundo maris ; et 
quae creavit hederara ad umbraculum 

' Lit '• in him," Ps. Ixxxix. 21, 22. 
« «« Lacu," Vulgate, Dan. vi. 7. 




Benedict (ii. 263-6) 

(9) But this we have 
ascertained, and know to be 
absolutely true, that this very 
well had been cleaned out a 
few days before by a man 
who had left in it neither 
staff, nor stick, no, not even 
of the smallest.^ 

(10) Moreover, while the 
girl was standing thus, she 
heard the voice of one con- 
soling her and repeating over 
and over again the words of 
consolation : " Fear not, my 
daughter, thou wilt come safe 

WiUiani (i. 258-61) 

the beam for the help of the 
shipwrecked girl. 

(9) Be not beguiled into 
supposing " that the beam had 
been purposely placed as a 
support for people going 
down into the well [to clean 
it]. For their custom was, 
whenever anything fell into 
the well, to draw it out in the 
usual fashion, searching the 
bottom with a hook. 

(10) [William places 
above, in (6), some words of 
St. Thomas, but mentions 
no visible figure.] 

(9) Hoc autem constans habemus 
atque certissimum, quod ante dies pau- 
cos puteum eundem juvenis purgaverat, 
qui nee baculum nee virgulam, sed 
neque festucam," in ipso reliquerat. 

(10) Audivit etiam puella, dum ita 
staret, vocem consolantis se, eademque 
consolationis verba saepius replicantis : 
" Noli timere, filia, bene venies sur- 

aestuantis prophetae, creavit et lignum 
in subsidium naufragantis puellae. 

(9) Non tibi subripiat^ ut putes 
lignum de industria tanquam suppe- 
daneum descendentibus in puteum fuisse 
impositum. Habebant enim hi con- 
suetudinem, siquid in ilium incidisset 
aliquando, sicut solet, extrahere, un- 
coque fundum scrutari. 

(10) vide (6). 

* "Festucam," lit. "a small wand." 

^ "Non tibi subripiat." Perhaps 
some words are missing : " Let not 
(any one] filch from you {the truth]," or 
' ' Let not [the truth] be filched (sub- 
ripiatur) from you." 

>5 777 



Benedict (ii. 263-6) 

to the top. Safe to the top 
wilt thou come, my daughter. 
Fear not." She testifies that 
she also saw the figure of the 
speaker standing near, clothed 
in the whitest linen. 

And so much for what 
was going on in the well.^ 

(11) Benedict omits this. 

William (i. 258-61) 

(11) And as far back as 
the time when the well was 
first dug, no such beam could 
ever be perceived by the 
master or by a single one of 
his servants. Well then,^ let 
any one say what he pleases, 
and maintain that it had 
been placed there, and that, 
after being long forgotten, 
there it was, at one time 
under the water, at another 

sum ; bene sursum venies, filia, noli 
timere." Testatur se etiam personam 
loquentis prope se stantem \'idisse, lino 
candidissimo vestitam. Et haecquidem 
in puteo ita gesta sunt.^ 
(II) cm. 

(II) Per tantum autem tempus quo 
fossus est pnteus, lignum tale non a 
domino, non ab aliquo famulonim 
adverti poterat. Dicat igitur* quivis 
quidlibet, et controversetur illud fuisse 
pridem impositum, et longa oblivione 
dimissum nunc aquae subesse, nunc 

^ For a similar transition, common 
in Greek writers, comp. above in 
William's (771 (5)) story of the plumber 
" So much for what was going on in 
the heart of the earth." 

' '• Igitur " seems to be an error 
for some other word such as "however." 



5^ 777 

Benedict (ii. 263-6) 

(12) Now the cry of the 
girl, at the moment when she 
fell in, had been heard by 

William (i. 258-61) 

time just touched by the 
water's surface, according as 
the well happened to be full 
or empty — yet still, let this 
[caviller] tell me how a girl 
of thirteen (for that was her 
age), who had thrown herself 
headlong from such a height, 
could mount the beam and 
plant her feet on it ! What 
agent, except the Divine pity 
— which wills that none 
should perish — placed in her 
hands such a support ? ° 

(12) So the swine-herd, 
seeing that the maid had 
thrown herself down, rushed 

(12) Audierat autem puellae corru- 
entis vocem quispiam de familia in 

ejusdem lambere superficiem juxta 
defectum vel incrementum ejus. Re- 
spondeat et ipse quomodo virgo tredecim 
annorum (id enim aetatis agebat) quae 
se ex tarn sublimi praecipitem dedit, 
lignum ascenderit et pedibus presserit. 
Quis nisi divina miseratio, quae neminem 
vult perire, podium manibus " immisit ? 
(12) Videns igilur subulcus quia 
virgo se dejecisset, irruit cum clamore, 

" " Podium " is properly a support 
for the feet, hence "balcony" etc. 
Perhaps this is an instance where 
William (146 note 9, 611^) misuses 
Greek terms. He seems to apply the 
word to the "stick" and not to the 
" beam." 

We should also have expected some 
conjunction: '■'^{^And, even though he 
may explain away the beam, yef^ who 
. . . supplied the stick f " 

^ 777 



Benedict (ii. 263-6) 

one of the servants at his 
work in a neighbouring field. 
He had seen her before 
sitting over the well, and 
had blamed her for it, 
wondering [at her strange 
conduct]. So he now ran 
and called (?) by name^ a 
young man sleeping in the 
house, dinning it in his ears 
that Salerna had fallen into 
the well. But the sleeper, 
as though in a waking dream, 
while hearing all that the 
other shouted, could not 
shake off slumber. For he 
saw before him a figure as 
of a hideous man, vast of 

William (i. 258-61) 

in with loud cries, calling 
the sleeping servant. Now 
the servant saw in his sleep 
a man with clenched fist 
threatening him and saying, 
" Lie still ! If you get up, 
you will have this fist in 
your face. Sleep on, lest you 
wake to your destruction." 

campo vicino constitutus, qui et puellam 
super puteum sedentem vidit et ad- 
miratus increpa\'it ; currensque juvenem 
indomo dormientem vocavit ex nomine,* 
Salemam in puteum corruisse in- 
geminans. At ille, quasi per somnum 
vigilans, et audiebat vociferantem 
et somnum excutere non \-alebat. 
Videbat enim coram se quasi hominem 
quendam deformem, statura procerum, 

vocans famulum dormientem ; qui 
videbat per somnum hominem sibi 
constricto pugno minitantem, et 
dicentem *' Accumbe ; si sui^s, 
pugnus iste tibi protinus haerebit in 
mala. Dormi, ne in exterminium 
tuum exciteris." 

* "Juvenem . . . ex nomine," we 
should have expected "juvenem 
quendam (a young man)." But per- 
haps the participle may have an in- 
definite force. William calls the man 
a "servant" from "the mill,'' and 
previously describes his unexpectedly 
early arrival as providential. 

I do not understand the force of 
• ' ex nomine. " It is not classical Latin. 
Rut it seems here to mean "by name." 




Benedict (iL 263-6) 
stature, and of a terrible 
countenance, holding a great 
club in his hands, and repeat- 
ing without ceasing, "If you 
get up, you are a dead man. 
Move, and I kill you." 

(13) Benedict omits this. 

William (i. 258-61) 

(13) Say, impious devil,^° 
what now avails thy deceit ? 
Thy manifold devices prevail 
not against the simple and 
innocent. Author of [all] 
guile, thou didst deceive an 
innocent young maid ; thou 
didst count her thy prey ; 
but thou didst not obtain 
her for a possession, for thy 
deceit was swallowed up in 
the Martyr's victory. Thou 
didst lull the servant to sleep 
and didst forbid his waking : 
but these and all thy other 

vultu terribilem, clavam grandera 
tenentem in nianibus, et incessanter 
dicentem, "Si surrexeris, mortuus 
es ; si te moveris, occidam te. " 
(13) om. 

(13) Die, impie Zabule, liquid valet 
nunc fraus tua ? Non praevalet ad- 
versus simplices et innocentes machina- 
tionis tuae multiplicitas. Virginem 
juvenculam, auctor doli, decepisti, 
praedam putasti, sed in possessorio 
non obtinuisti ; nam absorpta est in 
victoria martyris fraus tua. Mancipium 
sopisti et subvenire prohibuisti, sed et 

'0 " Zabule," a form of " Diabole," 
used by Lactantius. 

;^ 777 


Benedict (ii. 263-6) 

(14) At length, roused 
by the outcry that would 
take no denial, he ran with 
the lad to the well, and began 
to descend the well ; but he 
was dismayed at the great 
depth, and came out again. 
So there they both stood, 
sore distressed at the mishap 
and not knowing what to do. 
Then said one to the other, 
" Make haste, and mount, and 
ride to the church : and tell 
ourmistressof this lamentable 

William (i. 258-61) 

plots turn out to thy disgrace. 
Thou dost press sore on the 
Shepherd's lambs, but the 
forethought of the Shepherd 
defeateth thy deceits. 

(14) For, aroused by the 
shouting servant, the [other] 
servant hears the mischance 
of the hapless woman." And 
forthwith, stripping off his 
clothes, he prepared to go 
down the well, and was let 
down (?) some way. But, 
seeing that nothing effective 
could be done, he took horse 
in haste and carried the 
tidings to the mother and 
those who were at church. 

(14) Tandem vero importunitate 
clamantis excitatus, ad puteum cum 
puero cucurrit, in puteum descendit ; 
sed metu praecipitii tanti correptus 
exivit. Stabant itaque ambo super 
infortunio anxii, et quid facto opus 
esset ignari. Tunc alter ad alterum, 
" Festina, equumque ascendens ad 
ecclesiam propera ; et dominae nostrae 

haec et cuncta quae moliris tibi foeda 
eveniunt. Instans et impugnans 
pastoris oviculas, at Pastor providus 
expugnat fraudes tuas. 

(14) Excitatus enim clamore famuli 
famulus accipit casum miserandae 
mulieris ; " qui continue pannos suos 
abjiciens,et nudans se, puteum penetrare 
parabat, et demissus est. Sed rem 
videns carere effectu, caballum arripiens 
matrifamilias et eis qui in ecclesia erant 
quod acciderat innotuit. 

'1 «« Mulieris," though he has just 
told us that she is but thirteen years old. 
But having so often used " puella," 
*' virgo," "virgo juvencula," etc., he 
craves something new. 




Benedict (ii. 263-6) 

mischance." So he mounted, 
and galloped off, and, after 
very long delay, brought back 
with him 

(15) not only the mis- 
tress, ^but also the whole 
parish, which had on that 
day flocked to church accord- 
ing to custom. 

William (i. 258-61) 

(15) The mother, groan- 
ing over her own fault, and 
over the terror she had caused 
the timorous maiden, arrived 
at the well with a stream of 
the hastening villagers, bring- 
ing with them one Ralph, 
an active and vigorous young 
man, who (by Divine will) 
had come that day to that 
chapel, contrary to his custom. 
No one except him, among 
those then present, would 
have dared to descend to 
these subterranean recesses. 
So, on arriving, they let down 
a bladder, which settled on 
the transverse beam close to 
the place where the girl stood. 

miserabile infortunium quod accidit 
manifesta." Qui ascenso equo accele- 
ravit, et post moram plurimam, 

(15) non solum dominam, sed et 
parochiam totam, quae ad ecclesiam eo 
die, ut moris est, confluxerat, secum 

(15) Quae reatum suum, et timorem 
quem formidolosae virgini incusserat, 
ingemiscens, cum convicaneis irruenti- 
bus pervenit ad puteum, assumpto 
quodam Radulfo, juvene strenuo et 
expedito, qui divino nutu ea die praeter 
solitum venerat ad aediculam illam ; 
praeter quem nemo tunc praesentium 
subterraneis recessibus auderet illabi. 
Venientes itaque demiserunt utrem, qui 
subsedit in ligno transverso juxta 
stantem puellam. 

55 777 



Benedict (ii. 263-6) 

(16) The (or, a) young 
man ^ was let down by a 
rope into the abyss of the 
well, and while he himself 
remained on the staff,^° the 
girl was drawn out, calling 
aloud and saying, "Measure 
me for St. Thomas ! Measure 
me for St. Thomas ! " — mean- 
ing that she wished a candle 
to be made, of the length of 
her body, as an offering to 
the Martyr for her rescue. 

(17) When drawn out, 
she was found unhurt, but 
chilled almost to death with 
the cold, and 

William (i. 258-61) 

(16) When Ralph was 
let down by a rope, he found 
the girl standing, as we have 
described [above], and he him- 
self stood on the beam by her 
side, while fastening her to 
[the rope]. On being drawn 
out, she exclaimed, " Take 
the measure of my body, to 
make a vow [of a candle] to 
the blessed St Thomas." 

(17) Thus was preserved 
the souP^ of this innocent 
and simple girl ; and, after 
being drawn away by the 

(16) Demissus est juvenis* in 
abyssum putei per fiinem, et ipso 
interim super baculum ^^ remanente, 
puella extrahitur, vociferans, ac dicens, 
" Metimini me ad sanctum Thomam ; 
metimini me ad sanctum Thomam " ; 
volens \-idelicet, ut ad mensuram 
longitudinis corporis ejus candela 
fieret, quam martyri pro ereptione 
sua offerret. 

(17) Extracta autem illaesa inventa 
est, sed frigore pene usque ad mortem 

(16) Ipse autem juvenis Radulfus, 
per fimem demissus, puellam stantem, 
sicut diximus, invenit, et ligno pariter 
institit ipse alligans earn. Quae cum 
extraheretur proclamavit, " Praeparate 
mensuram corporis mei, voventes beato 

(17) Igitur salvata est animal' 
innocentis et simplicis puellae, malig- 

» "Juvenis" here would most 
naturally mean the "juvenis" above- 
mentioned (12). 

10 «< Baculum," called by William 
"beam (lignum)." Benedict uses the 
same word both for the " beam " and 
the "staflf." 

'* " Anima," as above, means also 





Benedict (ii. 263-6) 

(18) she began to say, 
" Lo, he was with me but 
now in the well. Lo, he has 
but now departed." Then 
said they, " Who was with 
thee ? " And she replied, 
"The blessed Martyr Thomas, 
clothed in white, and he 
spoke to me in the well, 
after this and this manner." 
And all that stood by blessed 
the Martyr of the Lord who 
doeth whatsoever he will, in 
heaven and in earth, in the 
sea, and in all abysses." 

(19) And indeed the 

William (i. 258-61) 

evil spirit, she was drawn out 
[again], free from all harm 
to limb. 

(18) William omits this. 

(19) [William omits all 

(18) dicebatque, " Ecce niodo 
mecum fuit in puteo, modo abiit." 
"Quis," inquiunt, "tecum fiiit?" 
Et ilia, '* Beatus Thomas martyr in 
vestitu candido, et sic et sic mihi in 
puteo locutus est." Et benedixerunt 
omnes qui astabant martyrem Domini, 
qui facit omnia quaecunque vult, in 
coelo et in terra, in mari et in omnibus 

(19) Et quidem abyssi praetaxatae 

noque spiritu seducta educta est, 
laesione membrorum immunis ; 
(18) om. 

(19) vide (7). 

'^ This perhaps may explain why 
this miracle is placed so late, as ex- 
emplifying the last of the four classes 
described, i.e. the miracles in " the 
waters under the earth." 

S 777 



Benedict (ii. 263-6) 
wonderful depth of the abyss 
above-mentioned makes this 
a wonderful miracle. For I 
have myself measured [it] 
and have found the distance 
from the surface of the earth 
to the surface of the water 
about fifty feet, while the 
water itself is more than sixty 
feet in depth.^" This [then] 
I have confidently set forth 
among the other wonderful 
signs of the Martyr, being 
certified by the testimony of 
no others [i.e. none less 
competent] than the girl her- 
self, and her parents, and the 
neighbours, men of worth 

William (i. 258-61) 

this except the statement of 
dimensions, which he places 
above, in (7).] 

mira profunditas mirum reddit mira- 
culum. Ipse enim profunditatem 
mensus sum, et a terrae sujjerficie 
usque ad superficiem aquae circiter 
quinquaginta pedum inveni distantiam, 
ipsam vero aquam plusquam sexaginta 
pedum habere profunditatem.'- Istud 
inter caetera martyris insignia fidenter 
proposui, non aliorum quam ipsius 
puellae et parentum suorum vicino- 
rumque virorum fidelium testimonio 

1* One MS. has 150 feet (instead 
of 100), and probably rightly. William 
has (see (7) above) 25 "great cubits," 
and 8 " great cubits " ; Benedict (if we 
adopt 1 50) has " 1 50 feet " and " more 
than 60 feet," respectively. The pro- 
pjrtions are different, and the state- 
ments irreconcilable. 



§ 777 

Benedict (ii. 263-6) 
and credit. For with their 
own eyes they saw the works 
of the Lord and His wonders 
in the deep.^' 

(20) Benedict omits this. 

William (i. 258-61) 

(20) Blessed be God and 
the Martyr for ever and ever! 
Let us therefore say, " O God, 
who dost manifest thy mercy 
most chiefly in bestowing 
thy grace on the unworthy, 
grant, we beseech thee, that 
we, who cannot be saved by 
our own merits, may ever be 
aided by the favour of thy 
Martyr St. Thomas, through 
the Lord, etc." ^^ 

[778] Benedict's account professes to be drawn from the 
testimony of the girl, the parents, and the neighbours : and, 
though shorter than William's, it indicates a special attention 
to the girl's evidence. For example, it describes the girl's 

certificatus. Ipsi enim viderunt opera 
Domini at mirabilia ejus in profundo.'^ 
(20) om. 

(20) benedictus Deus et martyr in 
saecula ! Dicamus igitur, "Deus, qui 
maxime clementiam tuam ostendis dum 
indignis gratiam tuam largiris, praesta, 
quaesumus, ut qui nostris non possumus 
salvari meritis, sancti martyris tui 
Thomae semper adjuvemur suffragiis ; 
p. Dominum [&c.]."i3 

^3 Psalm cvii. 24. 

'3 The writer concludes his sermon 
— for apparently it was a sermon — with 
a Collect, ending with the words 
"through Jesus Christ our Lord," 
which are not fully given in the text. 

?; 779 HIS MIRACLES 257 

feelings on the Saturday night and her first prayer to St. 
Thomas, and, in particular, her being (as she might confess 
to the Priest) " more anxious for the future than sorry for 
the past " : and how she was pushed, as it were, up out of 
the water (on coming up for the third time), and saw the 
Martyr in white garments, besides hearing his consoling 
voice. Characteristically, perhaps, the girl may have spoken 
of standing on one " stick " and holding another " stick " in 
her hand : but the former name was very inappropriate for 
a transverse beam fixed to the two sides of the well ; and 
William, who gives us more of the evidence of the farm- 
labourers, more fitly calls it a " beam." The girl's words 
when she was drawn up to the top are given by Benedict 
as, " Measure me for St. Thomas," simply ; by William, as 
" Take the measure of my body to make a vow to St. 
Thomas " : there can be no question that Benedict is the 
more exact, and that William has, rather clumsily, inserted 
in the girl's words an explanation that Benedict appends to 
the words. " Measure me for St. Thomas " was a common 
phrase everywhere among the English poor, and this girl 
was on a farm belonging to the Cathedral : she could not 
possibly have used the longer phrase assigned to her by 

[779] On the other hand, William is much clearer and 
fuller as to some details supplied by the servants on the 
farm. He knows that the poor things only had dry bread 
for their breakfast, and how Salerna got into the larder, and 
how she escaped the notice of the servants and got out of 
doors under pretence of looking after her little brother ; and 
then how the swine-herd in a neighbouring field saw her 
strange behaviour in the orchard, and marked her getting 
over one fence and leaping over another, and finally sitting 
with her legs over the uncovered well, and how he shouted 
to her, and all to no purpose. He, too, has told us how a 
providential miller's man came unexpectedly early, so that, 

VOL. tl 17 


having to wait till the family returned from church, he had 
nothing to do but to go to sleep on a heap of fodder. Then, 
too, he is diffuse on the beam and the stick in the well. The 
former was clearly felt by the farm-servants to be a weak 
point in the miracle. At any rate, they protested a great 
deal about it. It had not been there, they said, since the 
well was made. At least neither they nor the master could 
ever see it. But perhaps they felt that this was a very 
miraculous beam indeed, not only having held Salerna up, 
but also remaining there after Salerna's rescue to support 
the brave young Ralph, and, even after Ralph had been 
hauled up, remaining there still permanently to serve the 
purpose of keeping the sides of the well from falling in, just 
like an ordinary joist ! So William, while grappling as best 
he can with the sceptical view by alleging negative evidence 
(" no one had ever seen it "), nevertheless prudently concedes 
the sceptical view as to the beam or joist in order to con- 
centrate attention on the question, Who set the girl on the 
joist ? Who set the staff in her hands ? Who prevented 
her from being destroyed by the fall ? 

[780] When we speak of " William " as doing this, it is 
not to be supposed that the narrative originated from him. 
It reads like a sermon — and it must have been a wonderfully 
interesting and stimulating one — addressed to some village 
congregation in the neighbourhood of Ifield, and in the 
diocese of Canterbury. This William may have adapted 
for his purpose. 

[781] Whether William had Benedict's account before 
him, it is difficult to say with confidence. His statement of 
the dimensions of the well is irreconcilable with Benedict's 
(whatever MS. reading of the latter be adopted) ; but, if he 
had been correcting the latter, would he not have said that 
he, too, had measured it, or that he had ascertained the true 
measurement, or something at all events to maintain his 
position against Benedict's authoritative assertion ? On the 

^ 783 HIS MIRACLES 259 

other hand, the interesting statement about the "juvenis," 
Ralph, who went down so bravely into the well, looks like a 
correction of the false impression left by Benedict that the 
" juvenis " who went down was the same as the "juvenis" 
who was sleeping in the house, i.e., according to William, 
the miller's man. 

[782] It is probable that William, in the latter point at 
all events, is correcting some previous error or misunder- 
standing, and possibly one in some edition of Benedict's 
book. But we are now dealing with a part of Benedict's 
work that was probably added in later editions of it. If 
William had Benedict before him, would he not have borrowed 
from the latter the account of Salerna's seeing, as well as 
hearing, the Martyr ? On the whole, it is probable that 
Benedict's account, or at all events the last paragraph, was 
written, or published, so late that William had not the 
benefit of it. To ascertain dimensions by actual measurement 
on the part of the writer was such an unusual proceeding in 
dealing with miraculous narratives that we seem justified in 
inferring that Benedict did not resort to it till there had been 
a great deal of discussion about Salerna's well. 

§ 18. John of Roxburgh is saved from the Tweed 

[783] Benedict (ii. 266-7) William (i. 296-8) 

(i) Another' unusual (i) There is a great 

miracle, ascertained by us town that they call Roxburgh, 

to have happened near the in the boundaries of Loegria.' 

city of Roxburgh in the 

(l) Inusitatum ' quoque signum, (I) Vicus grandis est quern Roches 

quod apud urbem Rokesburch in burgum nuncupant, in finibus Loegriae,' 

' ••Quoque" rather abruptly con- * ••Loegria." The editor gives no 

nects this miracle with that of Salerna. note. Another ••Loegria" is nien- 

That had to do with a deep well ; this tioned in 702- 
with the depths of a river. 




Benedict (ii, 266-7) 

river Tweed, must by no 
means be passed over. 

(2) It was wrought by 
the Lord on a house-servant 
of Sweyn, Provost of the city. 
His name is John."- This 
man happened to be washing 
or watering a horse of his 
master's in the above-named 
river toward evening. Now 
the horse was timid ; and, 
taking a great fright at a 
hurdle it happened to see 
in its way, it shied and leapt 
down into deep water. 
Throwing off the young man, 
it left him in the stream, and 
made its own way, by swim- 
ming, to the dry land. 

William (i. 296-8) 

It is washed by the Tweed, 
a deep river, abounding in fish. 
(2) It happened that a 
young man, named John, was 
in the act of turning back 
from the river bed a horse 
that he had been watering, 
when the nervous animal was 
frightened beyond measure by 
a hurdle standing straight up, 
through which the sand was 
passing ; and, leaping forward 
into deep water, it threw off 
its rider and rushed back " to 
the familiar stall." 

flumine Tuede accidisse cognovimus, 
nuUatenus reticere debemus, 

(2) quod fecit Dominus in ejusdem 
urbis praepositi Swani vernaculo ; 
Johannes est nomen eJHS.''^ Hie domini 
sui equum in flumine praenominato 
lavabat sive adaquabat ad vesperam. 
Erat autem equus timidus, et de crate, 
quam forte prae se videbat, perterritus, 
aversus in profundum desiliit. Juvenem 
abjectum in amne reliquit, ipse nando 
evasit ad aridam. 

quem fluvius Thuidus alluit, profundu-; 
et piscosus. 

(2) A cujus alveo cum caballum 
juvenis Johannes adaquatumretorqueret, 
exterrebatur animal formidolosum ex 
crate erecta per quam transfundebatur 
arena ; et profundum insiliens, a se 
sessore dejecto, ad notum praesepe 

- Luke i. 63. It would seem 
fanciful to regard this as a quotation, 
but for (l) the rarity of this way of 
giving the name ; (2) the fondness of the 
writer for short Scriptural quotations of 
this kind, where his own words would 
have done as well. See the next note. 




Benedict (ii. 266-7) 

(3) Benedict omits this. 

(4) And the young man 
exclaimed as he fell into the 
river, " O, St. Thomas, as 
truly as I have already been 
thy pilgrim, and have visited, 
and will again, if it please 
thee, visit thy tomb, so do 
thou now succour me lest 
I die." 

William (i. 296-8) 

(3) " Woe unto him that 
is alone, because, if he fall, he 
has none to lift him up." For 
when the man was thrown 
off, the hurrying torrent 
was too strong for him and 
pulled him inward into the 
deepest parts of the swollen 
flood, and he began to sink 

(4) So having no hope, 
because the darkness of night 
had now come on and cut off 
all human aid, he resorted 
to prayer in these words, 
"Succour me, Thomas, Martyr 
most excellent, let not thy 
servant perish : for I have 
but lately visited the sacred 
threshold of thy martyrdom. 
Come to my aid, thou 
Champion of God, let not 
thy pilgrim die." 

(3) om. 

(4) El exclamavit juvenis, cum in 
flumen comieret, "Sancte Thoma, 
sicut vere peregrinus tuus exstiti, teque 
adii, ilerumque, le volente, adibo, 
succurre ne moriar." 

(3) " Vae soli, quia cum cecidit non 
habet sublevantem " (Eccl. iv. 10). De- 
jectus enim praevalente raptu gurgitis, 
introrsum tractus ad ima voraginis 
undosac, demergi coepit. 

(4) Exspes igitur, quia jam tenebrae 
noctis incumbebant et omne humanum 
sibi praecludeliant auxilium, conversus 
ad preces ait, " Succurre, martyr 
egregie Thoma, ne pereat servus tuus, 
qui sacrosancta martyrii tui limina nu{)er 
adivi. Subveni, athleta Dei, ne pere- 
grinus tuus intereat." 




Benedict (ii. 266-7) 

(5) Benedict omits this. 

(6) The horse, returning 
[to its stable], was found 
without its rider, and a sad 
report arose that he had been 

William (i. 296-8) 
(5) " In life's each stage, good- 
ness must be the goal, 
Through boyhood's sports or 
manhood's graver quests, 
Service is due : this debt 
owe young and old." - 

For unless the hapless 
subject of our story — " pre- 
vented " by that Grace which 
" freely justifieth the un- 
righteous " ^ — had, by the 
grace of pilgrimage, " pre- 
vented " ■* his peril, what good 
work could he have put for- 
ward for the sake of which 
he could have asked succour ? 

(6) William omits this 
(all but the first sentence, of 
which he gives the substance 
at the end of (2)). 

(5) om. 

(6) Reversus autem equus absque 
sessore suscipitur. De submersione 

(5) Quamlibet aetatem niti decet ad pro- 
Vel pila ludatur vel serior annus 

Latria debetur, major, minor, inde 

Nisi enim miser iste de quo dicimus, 
gratia praeventus quae gratis justificat 
impium,^ periculum suum gratia pere- 
grinationis praevenisset,* quod bonum 
proponeret cujus intuitu sibi succurri 
postularet ? 

(6) vide (2). 

2 I do not know whence these verses 
are quoted. 

3 Rom. iv. 5. 

* " Praevenisset" : as in our Collect, 
^^ Prevent us, O Lord, in all our doings." 

?$ 783 



Benedict (ii. 266-7) 
drowned. So the neighbours, 
hearing the reports, came out 
forthwith. But it was night. 
And they passed this way 
and that way, and, lo, "he 
was not " ; ^ they sought him, 
and " his place was not 

(7) For by this time the 
water had drawn him further 
in, and was now keeping him 
at the bottom of the river 
under the hollow of a great 
rock. So they returned, each 
to his home, each having lost 
all hope of finding the drowned 

William (i. 296-8) 

(7) So after this brief 
prayer — uttered as well as 
the boisterous waters and his 
failing breath would allow — 
he was sucked down and 
forced into a kind of rock- 
built hollow, either fashioned 
by Nature, or hollowed out 
by the Martyr for his ship- 
wrecked one.^ 

ejus rumor flebilis subsecutus est. Cum 
ergo accepissent vicini rumores istos, 
exierunt continuo, erat autem nox. Et 
transierunt hue atque illuc, et ecce non 
erat ^ ; quaesierunt et non est inventus 
locus ejus. 

(7) Jam enim eum longius unda 
protraxerat, et in fundo fluminis sub 
petrae grandis concavo retinebat. Re- 
versi sunt igitur in sua singuli, spe 
singulis ablata submcrsum inveniendi. 

(7) Cum itaque paucis orasset, qua- 
tenus gurges fluctivagus et halitus sus- 
pensus permittebat, absorptus est, et in 
quoddam concavum lapideum, quod vel 
natura construxerat vel suo naufrago' 
martyr excavaverat, intrusus est. 

' ' ' Non erat, " hardly classical Latin , 
but probably a quotation from Matth. ii. 
18 (quoting Jeremiah) '•mourning for 
her children because they were fiot." 
His ^^ plate was not found" is also 
Biblical, Rev. xii. 8, etc. Probably 
(under these circumstances) "But it 
was night" is also an allusion to the 
similar short sentence in John xiii. 30. 

* Salema, above (777 (7)), is also 
called the Martyr's "shipwrecked one." 
This miracle is placed by William with 
others which are instances of regular 
"shipwreck," and perhaps he uses the 
term as a convenient one to use for any 
one in danger of perishing in "the 




Benedict (ii. 266-7) 

(8) And when he had 
lain there till midnight in the 
bottom of the river, there 
appeared unto him eight men 
as if in the act of crossing 
close to him. 

(9) He imagines that he 
arose and followed them as 
they preceded ; but in truth 
he was borne up to the surface 
of the waters and was follow- 
ing by swimming. At last, 
nearing the bank. 

(10) he catches hold of 
a willow bough. [But] in 
the act of drawing the willow 
towards him he tore away the 
bough ; [moreover] a great 

William (i. 296-8) 

(8) While he was thus 
out of sight, deep down, fixed 
in the mud, it being now mid- 
night, behold, eight figures of 
reverend presence were borne 
upon the waters, walking side 
by side. 

(9) On their approach, 
forthwith the drowned ^ man 
was brought out from under 
the stone and came to the 
top, and, by favour of the 
seconding current, was drifted 
towards a willow that leant 
forward and just touched the 
water near the bank. 

(10) He grasped with his 
hands a little bough that 
hung down : but — either 
because the Martyr so fore- 
ordained, or because the man's 

(8) Cumque usque ad noctis medium 
in fluminis fundo jacuisset, apparuerunt 
ei viri octo, quasi transitum juxta ipsum 

(9) Surgere se aestimabat et subsequi 
praecedentes, sed revera ad superficiem 
aquarum elatus sequebatur natando. 
Ripae tandem appropinquans 

(10) salicis ramum apprehendit, 
salicem attrahens ramum avulsit, ruente 

(8) Ubi cum lateret infixus in limo 
profundi, nocte jam media, ecce octo 
personae venerabiles sub taciturnitate 
collateraliter incedentes super aquas 

(9) Ad quorum adventum continue 
de sub lapide eductus submersus " emer- 
sit, fluctusque subvehentis obsequio ad 
salicem, quae prona lambebat aquas 
marginales, appulsus est. 

(10) Cujus cum ramusculum depen- 
dentem manibus apprehenderet, fracto 
ramusculo, vel dispensatione martyris, 

'^ Note " submersus " as a noun 
with the article, and also " de sub." 

S 783 



Benedict (ii. 266-7) 
Stone from the bank fell on 
him ; and he again fell right 
into the stream. 

(11) And behold, after a 
little, [there appeared] the 
men described above (,) as 
though crossing close to him,* 

William (i. 296-8) 

weight was too heavy, or 
rather because of the contriv- 
ance of an evil spirit — the 
little bough broke, and he 
was driven back anew into 
the stream. For a stone, 
too, rolling forward on him 
from the bank, as he was 
floating in the waves, drove 
him back still farther from 
the land, until he was carried 
down to a bridge, which with 
its arm-like arches embraces 
the river-bed, more than a 
bow -shot from the place 
where the horse had thrown 

(11) [O, how] wonderful 
the love and diligence of the 
Saints in the protection of 
mortals ! Once more there 

super ipsum de ripa lapide grandi rursus 
in amnem corniit. 

(II) Et ecce post pusillum viri 
memorati, quasi juxta ipsum transeuntes, * 

vel gravi pondere appendentis, vel fra- 
gilitate ligni, vel potius molimine spiritus 
maligni, in fluctus denuo repulsus est. 
Nam et lapis a littore super fluctuantem 
provolutus eum longius a terra repulit, 
donee ad pontem deduceretur, qui 
brachiis arcuatis alveum fluminis am- 
plexatur, distans a loco quo ab equo 
deciderat majori spatio quam jaclus 
sagittae percurrat. 

(II) Mira dilectio et diligentia 
sanctorum circa tuitionem mortalium ! 

* It is not clear whether " as though 
crossing" goes with (i) "described," 
or with (2) ["appeared"]. But the 
writer seems to be describing two 




Benedict (ii. 266-7) 
and he followed them. Ima- 
gining himself to be walking, 
he was [in truth] swimming 
in the waters, until, [just] 
when he was under the bridge, 
he felt himself to be in the 
waters. And suddenly, by 
the wonderful power of God, 
he found himself lying on the 
bridge, not knowing at all in 
what way he had been raised 
from the waters or in what 
way he had come upon the 
bridge, since the bridge was 
at no small distance from the 
surface of the water, and no 
one could easily climb up 
from the water to the 

(12) He was [still] dis- 
tended with the water that 

William (i. 296-8) 

appeared to the drowning 
man," from under the bridge, 
those who had before appeared 
to him ; and at the moment 
of his extremity they rescued 
and placed him on the bridge, 
which stands three or four 
cubits above the water. 

(12) One of them, of fair 
aspect, and clothed in priest's 

et secutus est eos ; ambulare se aesti- 
mans, super aquas natabat, donee sub 
ponte positus in aquis se esse sentiret ; 
et subito mira Dei virtute super pontem 
invenit se jacentem, omnino nescius 
qualiter de aquis fuisset elevatus, vel 
qualiter super pontem venisset, cum 
pons ab aquae superficie spatio distaret 
non parvo, nee posset cuiquam facilis 
esse ab aquis super pontem ascensus. 

(12) Turgebat aquis quas biberat 
invitus ; sed eodem resiluerunt aditu 

Apparuerunt naufraganti ^ denuo qui 
prius apparuerant de sub ponte, jam in 
extremis constitutum eripientes, et 
ponti, qui tribus aut quatuor cubitis 
undae supereminet, imponentes. 

(12) Quorum unus, decorus aspectu, 
sacerdotaliter indutus, familiari colloquio 

repeated actions: — "They appeared 
crossing (as before) ; he followed (as 
before)." If so, the constr. is (2). 

^ Lit. " the shipwrecked one. 




Benedict (ii. 266-7) 

he had unwillingly imbibed ; 
but it leaped back by the 
same passage by which it had 
flowed in ; and while he was 
painfully vomiting, he heard 
one of the men above-men- 
tioned, one clothed in ponti- 
fical attire, saying to him, 
" To thine own good wast 
thou mindful of me yesterday 
when thou didst fall in. Be- 
hold thou hast been snatched 
from death. Be thou a good 
man : and do good while 
thou art able." 

On raising his eyes to 
see who spoke with him, 
he, too,^ vanished from his 

William (i. 296-8) 

vestments, comforted him 
with familiar speech, saying, 
" Arise, go home. Thou 
hadst regard to thine own 
good yesterday,® when thou 
wast mindful of me ; for the 
rest, give thy mind to good 

When the vision of the 
Saints faded from his eyes, 
he vomited forth the water 
he had imbibed. 

quo influxerant ; cumque anxie vomeret, eum consolatus est, dicens, ' ' Surge, 

audivit unum ex viris praetaxatis, orna- 
mentis indutum pontificalibus, sibi 
dicentem, " Bono tuo mei memor heri 
fuisti cum caderes ; ecce a morte ereptus 
es, esto bonus homo ; et fac bene dum 
pHDtes." Cumque elevasset oculos ut 
videret quis secum lociueretur, et ipse* 
evanuit ab oculis ejus. 

vade domum. Bono tuo cavens heri * 
mei memor fuisti ; intende de caetero 
bonis operibus. " 

Ille, elabente ab oculis visione sanc- 
torum, fluctus bibitos evomuit, 

■' " Et ipse " may perhaps mean 
that the speaker vanished as well as the 
seven silent Saints. 

* The Editor punctuates thus, 
"Go home, having regard to thine 
own good." But Benedict's version 
shews that it must be punctuated as 

It is however possible that " cavens " 
is for (Benedict) " cadens (when fall- 




Benedict (ii. 266-7) 

(13) Numbed by the 
cold, he was unable to rise 
[and walk] : but creeping on 
his hands and feet he reached 
a house abutting on the 

(14) When he sought 
entrance, it was hardlygranted 
him ; for those in the house 
at first supposed that it was 
the ghost of the drowned man 
that was groaning outside. 

William (i. 296-8) 

(13) and recovering some 
strength, he crept for the 
nonce ** on hands and feet, 
and knocked at the door of 
the toll-keeper, who had his 
cottage adjoining the bridge. 

( 1 4) Marvelling who could 
be knocking at that early 
hour, the toll -keeper asked 
who it was. He replied he 
was John. "John's not enough 
for me," said the other, " there 
are many of that name." 
The man that sought entrance 
rejoined, " I am John, grand- 
son of Sweyn the merchant." 
" In no wise shall he enter," 
said the toll -keeper's wife, 
" for he is dead." For by 
this time word had spread 
everywhere that he had died 

(13) Ffigore pressus surgere nequie- 
bat ; sed manibus reptans et pedibus 
dotnum attigit ponti contiguam. 

(14) Aditus petenti vix patuit, 
putantibus primo, qui in domo erant, 
spiritum submersi esse, qui foris gemeret. 

(13) datoque vigore tantisper" 
manibus et genibus reptans ad ostium 
cujusdam pulsavit qui teloneo praefuit 
et ponti casam affixerat. 

(14) Qui matutinum pulsatorem 
admirans quaerit quis est. Respondit 
se Johannem esse. *' Nonduni," ait, 
"scio; multi censentur hoc nomine.'' 
Subjunxit his qui pulsaverat, "Johannes 
sum, nepos Swani mercatoris." •' Ne- 
quaquam," inquit uxor telonarii, "in- 
trabit, quia mortuus est." Jam enim 
sermo percrebuerat quia submersus in- 

* " For the nonce. " "Tantisper" 
generally means " meanwhile." 




Benedict (ii. 266-7) 

(i 5) The limbs that were 
quite chilled with the cold of 
the water were [soon] quite 
warmed and strengthened 
with the aid of fire. 

(16) Benedict omits this. 

William (i. 296-8) 

by drowning.^" "Dead or 
alive," retorted her husband, 
" from what the man says, he 
shall come in." 

(15) On his opening the 
door, the man suddenly fell 
in a heap, as though dead — 
bereft of sight, strength, and 
hearing, so that no word could 
be drawn from him. But 
he was carried thence to his 
home, and, as the day wore on, 
he opened his eyes and spoke. 

(16) William, King of 
Scotland, was in the town 
that day ; and, being struck 
by the strangeness of this re- 
markable miracle, he would 
fain have seen in his own 
person and on the testimony 
of his own eyes a matter like 

(15) Membra frigoribus aquarum 
congelata ignis beneficio confota robo- 

(16) om. 

teriisset.i*' Adjecit vir ejus, "Sive 
mortuus sive vivus sit, ex quo loquitur, 

{15) Et cum aperuisset, corruit iile 
subito quasi mortuus, visa, viribus, et 
auditu destitutus, ut non posset ab eo 
verbum extorqueri. Reportatus autem 
inde ad propria, procedente die aperiens 
oculos locutus est. 

(16) Erat illo die illo in vico rex 
Scotorum Willelmus, qui tanti miraculi 
novitate percussus in propria persona et 
oculata veritate quod super opinionem 

•0 Or, " that the drowned man was 
dead," " submersus " being perhaps used 
for " the man in the water," as in (9). 




Benedict (ii. 266-7) 

(17) When he regained 
his original strength, he and 
his master, Sweyn, visited 
Thomas, the Lord's Anointed,*^ 
and paid back to him the 
gratitude due for his grace." 

William (i. 296-8) 
this, beyond ordinary behef. 
But as the [royal] purple does 
not pass into lowly cottages, 
he sent the Bishop of Glasgow 
with his Archdeacon to inquire 
into the facts. So they called 
on the man,^^ and, on peril of 
anathema and interdict, for- 
bade him to say anything 
that should vary from the 
truth and mislead the people. 
Then he related about himself 
what we have related about 
him : 

(17) which he related also 
to us a very little time after- 

(17) Vigo rem pristinmn adeptus 
una cum domino suo Swano christum <• 
Domini Thomam, juxta quod voverat, 
adiit, et gratias ei pro gratia rependit.'' 

erat cupiebat intueri. Sed quia purpura 
non in humiles migrat tabernas, misit 
episcopum Glesgucensem et archidia- 
conum ad inquirendam veritatem. Qui, 
cum naufragum ^^ convenirent, et sub 
anathematis interminatione prohiberenl 
ne quid diceret quod a vero deviaret, 
populumque seduceret, narravit de se 
sicut narravimus de eo. 

(17) Quod et nobis narravit post 
aliquantulum temporis. 

6 Lit. "the Lord's- Christ.'" See 
above, 709 (i). 

^ A play on the words " Gratias 
pro gratia. " 

" Lit. "the shipwrecked one," as 
above (7). 

§785 — HIS MIRACLES 271 

[784] Similarity of sequence, as well as of fact, in these 
two accounts, co-exists with great difference of expression. 
For example, where Benedict says, " when he had lain there 
till midnight in the bottom of the river," William has, " he 
was out of sight, deep down, fixed in the mud, it being now 
midnight." The latter is more like what the man would say. 
No clerk, or monk, would be so likely to insert mention of 
mud, if there was no original mention of mud, as the man 
who had stood in the mud half the night would be likely to 
remember and record it. The same applies to the two 
narratives throughout : Benedict's is like a clerical statement 
taken down from the man's lips, omitting what the clerk 
thought unimportant and correcting occasionally what the 
clerk thought unseemly ; William's, like a second version of 
that statement, amplified after hearing oral evidence from 
John of Roxburgh himself. 

[785] This view agrees with an antecedent probability 
suggested by the fact that the Bishop of Glasgow and his 
Archdeacon came first to hear the man's account, and that 
afterwards the man himself brought it to Canterbur}-. It 
would be only natural, indeed it is almost certain, that the 
Bishop, having taken down notes from John's deposition, 
would send to the monks at Canterbury a letter based on 
them. In such an interview, he, or the Archdeacon, might 
naturally make slight errors or omissions that John himself 
might afterwards amend. For example, they took the youth 
to be the " house-slave " of Sweyn " the Provost " : but he was 
really the grandson ; and Sweyn himself was better known, 
to the toll-keeper at all events, as " Sweyn the merchant." 

Again, the Archdeacon is vague as to whether the horse 
was to be " washed " or " watered " ; John is definite that it 
is to be " watered," probably assuming that the term implies 
walking the horse into the water so as to wash his legs. 
John also more clearly explains the position of " the hurdle " 
and the noise made by the pebbles passing through it, 


which startled his horse. The Bishop and the Archdeacon, 
lodging as they were in Roxburgh on that memorable night, 
would hear the talk in the town and perhaps actually see 
the Roxburgh men coming back after sunset from their fruit- 
less quest for the drowned man, having given up all hope. 
On this, therefore, they, and Benedict, are diffuse, while 
John, and William his representative, know nothing of it. 

[786] No dimensions are given by Benedict, usually so 
exact in these matters ; and the reason probably is that 
none were given by the Bishop. But William — vague in these 
points where he writes on his own account — tells us that the 
bridge was more than a bowshot farther down than the place 
where John fell in, and three or four cubits (not vague this, 
but exact, according to the state of the river) above the level 
of the water. 

[787] The Bishop rationalizes a little, in his description 
of John following the guidance of the eight Saints. Probably 
John actually said to the two ecclesiastics that he " arose and 
walked on the waters," as the eight Saints were walking, and 
as St. Peter was said in the Gospel to have " walked." But 
they do not accept this. " He imagined" they write, " that 
he rose up [erect],^ and followed them, but in reality he 
was borne up and followed by swimming," and again, '■'Imagin- 
ing that he was walking, he was swimming." Perhaps, how- 
ever, the ecclesiastics were not really rationalizing, but only 
toning down for edification. It was scarcely seemly that a 
house -servant of Sweyn the Provost should have actually 
done what the Apostle St. Peter tried to do and failed ! 

[788] The final words of St. Thomas are placed far more 
naturally by William — immediately after John's being set 
on the bridge, and before he awoke to the sense of pain and 
the need of action — than by Benedict, who describes them as 
uttered while the poor man was painfully vomiting. William's 

' " Surgere " seems used here, as in Benedict (13), for "arise and stand." 

?i789 HIS MIRACLES 273 

graphic account of the dialogue on the bridge, between the 
shivering man outside and the toll-keeper and his wife inside, 
is naturally condensed by the Bishop ; who also omits men- 
tion of the interdictory " anathema " with which he bound 
John to tell the whole and exact truth. The ecclesiastics 
might naturally pass over this, as being a matter of every- 
day occurrence : but, no less naturally, it would make a deep 
impression on John and, through him, would find a place in 
William's record. 

[789] The conclusion from this miracle, as from that of 
Salerna, is that it would be highly misleading to lay down a 
general rule as to the superior trustworthiness of a narrative 
in Benedict's treatise to a parallel narrative in William's. 
Where the two writers write about what they observed at the 
Martyr's tomb, Benedict is the better authority ; but, where 
they write about things at a distance, the superiority lies 
with that one of the two who happens to have access to the 
best evidence. Benedict, when not an eye-witness — like Grim, 
when not an eye-witness — is liable to all the errors of his 
informants as well as those that may accrue from his own 
interpretation (392). 





§ I. 5/. Thomas' s fish 

[790] Alan writes that when the Archbishop, at the 
beginning of his exile, was making his way to the Monastery 
of St. Bertin's, hungry as well as weary, his companions 
began to speculate on the possibility of a good meat dinner 
at the end of their journey, if only he would dispense with 
the obligation of fasting on that Wednesday.^ The Arch- 
bishop refused. They urged him, adding, " Perhaps they 
may have no fish, and we ought to stoop to accommodate 
them." "The Lord will provide," was Thomas's reply. 
Straightway " from the water " (for they were in a boat) 
" there leapt a great fish violently into the lap of the man 
of God, the fish, I say, called bream ; and that journey was 
made agreeable to them in the praise of the Lord." 

[791] Garnier, Grim, and Fitzstephen all mention this 
journey, yet are silent about the fish. Their narrative, 
however, is somewhat brief, so that their silence may be 
explicable from their ignorance about the details of the 
journey. But their ignorance about this particular detail — 
so interesting, picturesque, and providential or miraculous — 

* Mat. ii. 336. 

§792 HIS MIRACLES 275 

tells heavily against its historical accuracy. What, however, 
is needed for the practical demonstration of the falsehood of 
the story is the silence of some companion of the Archbishop's 
about it : and this negative evidence is afforded by Herbert 
of Bosham. He had been waiting at St, Bertin's for four or 
five days to welcome the Archbishop, and in all probability 
dined with him on the evening of his arrival. Moreover, 
Herbert tells us that on that very night the Archbishop gave 
him a minute account of all his wanderings and sufferings ; 
and some of these Herbert records at great length. It is 
quite impossible that this striking little miracle, or quasi- 
miracle, should have been omitted from Herbert's pages had 
it been historical. 

[792] The origin of the legend is probably a linguistic 
error. This is rendered probable by the fact that Alan has 
misunderstood some words in the context. He tells us that 
Thomas journeyed on foot "with a monks hood placed on his 
shoulders (super scapulas posita)." But the fact was that, 
for a few miles, being utterly tired out, he rode a horse hired 
from a village, without a saddle, on which a " hood {cappci) " 
was placed. The mention of the monk's hood is meaningless 
on t/ie traveller's head (or, shoulders), but intelligible on the 
bare-backed horse. Gamier says that the Archbishop's friends 
" made him ride for two leagues : there was no more than a 
hood which they caused to be folded under him (suz lui)." 
Possibly, some confusion arose, when Garnier's narrative was 
expanded, as it is in some of the prose writers, into " they 
made him ride on a horse, which . . . under him" For 
then transcribers might say, " Did Garnier's second ' him ' 
mean 'the horse'? If so, 'suz (under)' must be a mistake 
for ' sur (over).' " And, as a fact. Anon. I. seems to shew 
traces of such confusion. For he has, in his text, " they put 
a hood under (subjecta) the aforesaid horse',' ^ where one MS. 

- [792a] Mat. iv. 56 " subjecta eidem jumento cappa beatum virum desuper 
scdere focerunt." The Editor adds '' superjecta, G. (which seems right)." One 


reads " put over (superjecta)." There seems to be confusion 
between " over the horse " and " under the Archbishop." 

[793] The same author, Anon. I. — who tells us that he 
ministered to the Archbishop in foreign parts, and who is 
very full of detail at this point — has a remarkable story 
about a woman who did the exile a good turn. Seeing the 
tired traveller pass through her village, she bustled into her 
house to give him a staff to support him. So she " caught 
up and gave him a ' spit-stick,' begrimed, besmoked, moist, 
and greased through and through with the fat of fisJies which 
had been hung from it." The Archbishop, he adds, thank- 
fully received this offering. It is just possible that some 
monkish verses about this " fishing-staff" suddenly bestowed 
for the " support " of St. Thomas, may have been interpreted 
— in view of the familiar " staff of life," as a metaphorical 
name of bread — to mean that Providence sent the Saint a 
"fat fish."^ 

[794] If this, or some similar explanation, is correct, the 
origin of this fish-legend will be of the same kind as that of 
the rescue of Thomas from drowning related above (397-401) 
— that is to say, (i) linguistic error seconded by (2) a 
prejudice for the marvellous. There, a falcon flying astray 
across a stream and in danger of being lost, was apparently 
confused with a falcon stooping on its prey upon a stream, 
and in danger of being drowned. Then Thomas " tumbling " 
was confused with Thomas " leaping." Lastly, a " miller 
turning off the water" was dispensed with, so that the mill- 
wheel was simply said to " stand still," apparently by 
miraculous agency. 

or two cases occur above of "sub" for "super," e.g. 737 (ll). Do they 
arise from French or Latin origin? 

' That this journey was made the subject of early poems appears from the 
fact that, at this point, William (Afat. i. 42) quotes nine lines of poetrj', descriptive 
of the Archbishop's wanderings. 

§795 HIS MIRACLES 277 

§ 2. The Vision at Pontigny, (i.) the statements 

[795] William tells us that the Archbishop, when 
departing from Pontigny, related to the Abbot of that 
monastery a vision of his martyrdom.^ After describing a 
trial-scene, in which he himself was the accused, and relating 
how he was " left alone in the court," the Archbishop con- 
tinues, " And behold, four of the King's servants, rushing in 
against me, sheared off with their swords the crown of 
my head." 

Grim gives a similar account,'^ mentioning " the breadth 
of the crown " as being " sheared off," but not stating the 
number of the murderers, nor saying anything about the 
relation of the story to the Abbot. Grim also mentions 
another vision ^ at the conclusion of his description of the 
Archbishop's life at Sens, where he remained four years 
after leaving Pontigny. This vision is similar to that recorded 
in the next paragraph. 

Some of the MSS. of Fitzstephen "* describe a vision as 
occurring " at Pontigny," but quite different from William's, 
to this effect : while St. Thomas was celebrating Mass, " he 
heard a voice : ' Thomas ! Thomas ! ' ' Who art thou. Lord ? ' 
he replied. And the Lord said to him, ' I am Jesus Christ, 
thy Lord and brother, my Church shall be glorified in thy 
blood, and thou shalt glory (gloriaberis) ^ in me.' Rising 
from the spot, he saw the Abbot behind a pillar, and exacted 
from him a promise not to reveal the vision during his 
(the Archbishop's) life." 

' Mat. i. 52. 2 lb. ii. 413. ^ lb. ii. 419. 

♦ lb. iii. 83. It is omitted in the MS. J. (15a) which contains the earliest 
version of Fitzstephen's narrative, and it is found with marks of cancelling in 
another MS. The fact that " the Archbishop," as Fitzstephen usually calls him, 
is here called •• St. Thomas " indicates that it is a later addition. 

^ " Thou shalt glory. " The Saga (i. 3 1 7) has " thou shall be honoured by me,'' 
perhaps taking the deponent as a passive verb. Or is there an error in Fitz- 
stephen's text ? 


Benedict ^ simply says that, while the Archbishop was 
in France, he had predicted to the Abbots of Pontigny and 
Val-luisant that he would suffer martyrdom and that he must 
be killed in a church. 

Herbert of Bosham, who was with the Archbishop at 
Pontigny, describes him as being dejected when he rode 
thence with his host, the Abbot, and when he bade farewell to 
the latter ; and then he adds a dialogue between the two 
in which the former describes the vision, exacting a pledge 
of secrecy. The description resembles William's in mention- 
ing ^'■four soldiers," and " in a church (but I know not where)." 
A few days afterwards, continues Herbert, he revealed the 
vision to the Abbot of Val-luisant " that in the mouth of 
two [witnesses] this word of revelation might be confirmed." ^ 

[796] Gamier mentions a vision of a trial -scene, 
followed by the entry of the murderers who shear off the 
crown of the Archbishop's head ; but he does not give the 
number as " four," nor does he place the murder in a church. 
It is " in the court (el consistoire) " ; so, too, William (" in 
consistorio "). Gamier adds, as a comment of his own, 
" Right well did God promise unto him that he should be 
slain in His cause, for holy Church." He proceeds to add 
a story of a monk in Pontigny, suffering from dropsy, who 
was commanded by the Virgin Mary to apply to Thomas 
for a remedy and was cured by him. This was followed by 
other cures, and the poet concludes by saying, " There was 
not in that country any man so full of fever as not to 
receive entire and certain health from his relief" ® 

Giraldus Cambrensis (born 1 1 46, and therefore twenty- 
four years old at the time of the Martyrdom) gives a vision 

8 Mat. ii. 12. 

' lb. iii. 406 "ut . . . in ore duorum staret verbum revelationis hoc." 
^ " N'out el pais nul home si plein de fievre vaine, 

Par sun relief n'oiist sante tote certaine." 

11- 3599-3600. 


somewhat resembling the second of the visions recorded by 
Grim, adding that he has not yet found the story set forth 
in any writing that he has read.' 

^ 3. The Vision at Pontigny, (ii.) the silence of Anon I., 
commonly called " Roger of Potttigny " 

[797] Among " statements," there ought perhaps to be 
included a non-statement, namely, the silence of the author 
commonly called Roger of Pontigny, who passes over the 
two years at Pontigny thus : " But the inmates of [the 
convent of] Pontigny ^ rejoiced beyond measure at the arrival 
of their distinguished guest, thanking him for turning aside 
to lodge with them, .... And as for the most reverend 
man himself, how saintly and how religious was his life, we 
forbear to relate, for fear of wearying our brethren with 
repetitions of what they know already,^ and of exceeding 
the limits prescribed by brevity." 

[798] Some have argued from this that the writer must 
have been a monk of Pontigny, and that he passed over what 
his Pontigny " brethren " knew. But does this satisfactorily 
explain his passing over in silence the remarkable miracles 
alleged by so early a writer as Garnier — and by none of our 

" Mat. ii. 282. His preface is: "Whence also I have thought it worth 
while to append here a few notable facts that I have ascertained on good 
evidence about the end of the illustrious Martyr, which I have not yet found set 
forth in such writings as I have read of other authors (unde et pauca, quae cir- 
citer finem martyris insignis valde cognovi, et aliorum scriptis, quae legi, nondum 
expressa repperi, hie apponere dignum duxi)." The prediction there is simply, 
"Thomas, my Church shall be glorified in thy blood" ; there is nothing about 
" thou shalt glory in me, or, be glorified in me." 

This indicates that the writer had not read (or did not remember) Grim, nor 
the passage above quoted from some of Fitzstephen's MSS. 

^ Mat. iv. 64, " Pontiniacenses," probably does not refer to any but the hosts 
of the Archbishop, i.e. the people in the convent. 

- " Know already." The text has " ne et fratribus nostris notam ingeramus, 
et veritatis metas excedamus." But Mr. Magnusson's emendation, "nota," is 
absolutely necessary (26^). 


later writers — to have been wrought by the Archbishop at 
Pontigny ? In his preface this author (Anon. I.) says that 
he writes ^ " because there is nowhere found a full history 
of his [St. Thomas's] life and acts," and because " some have 
held opinions about the Saint, not only divergent from, but even 
contrary to, the real truth." There is nothing at all to indicate 
that he is not writing for the world at large. That he would 
omit the details of the Archbishop's extreme asceticism at 
Pontigny, and of the illness that followed from it, and of the 
remonstrances of his friends — this is natural enough, first 
because St. Thomas's asceticism no longer needed any vindi- 
cation, from the time when the " brethren " of the Canterbury 
Minster, unclothing his body for burial, had discovered his 
secret self-mortification, and secondly, perhaps, because the 
saintly self- mortification at Pontigny seems to have been 
reported so fully by Gamier, Grim, and later on by Herbert 
of Bosham, that our author may well have thought this point 
had received more than sufficient mention. 

[799] But what is to be said as to the silence of this 
anonymous writer about the miracles recorded by Gamier ? 
Though the former was probably not a monk of Pontigny — 
and indeed he speaks of " the inmates of the convent of 
Pontigny above " in a manner that indicates an absence of 
connection with them — yet he tells us that he* ministered 
to the Archbishop during his exile, so that he must (one 
would suppose) have known of such miracles, if they had 
been wrought. The silence of this writer, who was almost 
certainly present at Pontigny — when combined with the 
silence of Herbert, who was certainly present there — practic- 
ally demonstrates the falsehood of Gamier's accounts of 
miraculous cures. What his silence about the visions may 
mean, will be considered in the next section. 

3 Mat. iv. 1. * lb. iv. 2. 

§801 HIS MIRACLES 281 

§ 4. TJu Vision at Pontigny, (iii.) all evidence from 
Pontigny to be regarded with suspicion 

[800] From whom did Garnier procure his evidence 
as to the miracles wrought by the Archbishop during his 
stay at Pontigny? The most probable answer is, from the 
Abbot and monks there. As Garnier went to Canterbury, 
so he would naturally go to Pontigny, to obtain facts about 
the Saint. He as good as tells us this when he relates the 
story above-mentioned about the man suffering from the 
dropsy. Apparently he would have liked to ask him some 
questions, but " they did not tell me his name," he says.^ 

[801] This at once indicates, and reduces to a very low 
level, the source of Garnier's information as to the miracles. 
A monk, moved by a command from the Virgin Mary given 
in a dream, seems to have asked St. Thomas to place his 
hand upon his stomach that he might be healed. The 
Saint complied, and he also gave him some potion, followed 
by vomiting ; but again Garnier could not ascertain the 
facts. " He gave him somewhat to drink, but I know not 
what." * On the strength of such testimony, Garnier records 
not only this particular cure, but that of many others 
afflicted with fever. 

That St. Thomas — especially when asked in the name 
of St. Mary — may have acted as Garnier describes, and that 
others of the brethren, encouraged by the monk's cure or 
improvement, may have also asked the Saint to give them 
medicine or to pray for them, is quite possible : but the 
combined hypothesis that there was " no man in the country," 
suffering from fever, who did not obtain complete cure from 
the Archbishop, and that Herbert of Bosham — the Arch- 

» Gamier, 1. 3576. 

2 lb. 1. 3591-5 "E beivre li dona, mis ne sai quei, de fi. Guerres ne 
demora que li freres chai, V'enim et purreture grant merveille vomi, Et jut mult 
lungement tut greilles sussailli. Par les mains al saint home de s'enfert^ guari." 


bishop's tutor in Scripture, at that place and time, and 
Anon. I. his chaplain — should both be silent about such a 
testimony to his saintliness, amounts to an impossible 
absurdity. The conclusion is, not only that Garnier's 
narrative about miracles is false, but also that evidence 
proceeding from Pontigny is to be regarded with suspicion.^ 

§ 5. The Vision at Pontigny, {y\i^ the probable facts 

[802] The basis of fact appears to be that the Arch- 
bishop, when at Pontigny, had a dream, about a struggle in 
a " consistory " in which he had been pleading before the 
Pope. This may have ended with a scene in which he saw 
himself assassinated. Probably it did not. 

The dream, in its original form as given by Gamier, 
represented " all the Cardinals " as attacking St. Thomas, 
" seeking to gouge his eyes out of his head and tear them in 
pieces." The Pope, who was sitting in judgment with the 
Cardinals by his side, favoured the Archbishop, but could 
not hear him, and could not make himself heard for hoarse- 
ness, by reason of the uproar of his assessors.^ 

Some such dream as this was confided by the Arch- 
bishop to the Abbot of Pontigny when the two parted ; and 
the former not improbably added that it was his destiny to 
" die for the Church." He is reported to have said on the 
night before his death, "that he knew he should not be 
killed out of church." ^ It is not improbable that on many 
occasions toward the end of his life he used some such words 
as these, meaning that he would come to a violent end, 
doing battle for his Lord, like a knight in harness, that is to 
say, in the discharge of his archiepiscopal work ; and this he 
may have expressed in the words " in the church and for the 

* For another very picturesque miracle connected with St. Thomas's residence 
at Pontigny, see below, 815. ^ Gamier, 11. 3565-70. 

- Stanley (p. 74) quotes no authority for this but Grandison, c. 5. 

i5 803 HIS MIRACLES 283 

Church." But that he did not use the words " in the church " 
to the Abbot of Pontigny is shewn by the early version of 
the dream in Gamier, who says nothing about a church. 
The assassination is " in the Consistory." 

Such, then (in all probability), is the true account of the 
words of the Archbishop to the Abbot, a relatiofi of an ill- 
omened dream concerning Cardinals and a tradition that he 
was destined to die in the cause of the Church. Perhaps, 
before the Martyrdom, when the Abbot reflected on his 
reminiscences of St. Thomas, he would simply remember 
how, at their last parting, the Saint revealed to him that he 
had a dream of evil omen about the result of his contention 
with the King, and had predicted his own death in the con- 
flict. But, when the death had actually taken place '^for 
the Church" it was natural for the Abbot to make the death 
part of the dream, and to adapt the details of the dream to 
the facts of the Martyrdom. It was in this stage that 
Gamier received the story. The murderers were not yet 
" four," nor were they " knights," nor was the murder " in " a 
church ; but the vision already included that vivid fact, 
known all through Europe, the wound in " Becket's Crown." 

§ 6. The Vision at Pontigny ^ (v.) the growth of legend 

[803] The somewhat scandalous dream, as described (see 
the last section) by Gamier — a little disrespectful to the 
Pope, and absolutely hostile to the Cardinals — is retained by 
the blunt Grim, alone of the Saint's biographers, in all its 
force.^ Grim also appears to have used, but erroneously, 
some words of the poet, following the description of the 
assassination. Speaking in his own person, Gamier says, " Well 
did God promise that he should be slain in His cause for 
Holy Church." But Grim and others appear to have taken 

• Grim, ii. 413. "Tollir et desfuTr" he renders «'oculos illi effodere digitis 
.ic discerpere" ; "enrouir," "become hoarse," is " obmutescere. " 


this as referring to an audible profnise from God. Grim con- 
verts this into a separate revelation, not made at this time, 
but after St. Thomas had left Pontigny : but Giraldus Cam- 
brensis and the above-mentioned version of Fitzstephen place 
it at Pontigny. 

William conceals the word " cardinals " under the phrase 
" the very assessors of the judge," '^ in other respects 
agreeing with Gamier ; but he goes a step further in assimi- 
lating the prediction to fact by making the murderers " king's 
attendants," and " four " in number. But neither he nor Grim 
mentions any inculcation of secrecy on the Abbot from the 
Archbishop. Herbert, retaining " the Cardinals," omits the 
attempt to " gouge out the eyes " of the Archbishop, and the 
description of the Pope's " hoarseness " : he also represents 
the trial as taking place " in a church." 

[804] But now the question would naturally arise among 
readers of the Saint's life, How was it that so remarkable 
a prophecy, tending to the glory of the Saint as a prophet, 
had not been made known during his life ? None of the 
three early writers meet this difficulty. But Herbert of 
Bosham does, by saying that tAe Abbot was pledged to secrecy. 
This is curious, in view of the fact that he adds that another 
Abbot was a few days afterwards taken into the secret and 
similarly pledged. Why did not Gamier mention this in- 
culcation of secrecy ? Why was it reserved for the latest of 
all the authoritative biographers to mention it ? 

The probability is, that the predictive aspect is a later 
importation. The Archbishop may very well have asked the 
Abbot of Pontigny to say nothing about his ill-omened 
dream concerning the Cardinals, as it would only discourage 
his friends. Very likely, he may have said much the same 
thing to the Abbot of Val-luisant. Then, after the Martyr's 
death, when the inhabitants of every place that had been 

^ Mat. i. 51. 

5 806 HIS MIRACLES 285 

sanctified by his presence began to put in claims based on 
their connection with him, and when the Pontigny monks 
began to circulate the story of the vision and prophecy con- 
fided to their Abbot, those of Val-luisant would wish not to 
be left behind. 

[805] The substantial element of fact, then, reduces 
itself to this, that the Archbishop, while at Pontigny, had a 
dream, in which he saw the Cardinals trying to tear out his 
eyes as he stood pleading his cause before the Pope. With 
this, the Saint's friends and biographers dealt in three ways. 
(i) Some, regarding it as predictive of his Martyrdom, assimi- 
lated its features to those of the murder, and minimized, or 
removed, the reference to the Cardinals : (2) others — but these 
fewer, and represented perhaps ^ only by Fitzstephen's later 
text — substituted, for this first vision, a second (derived from 
Garnier's comment on the first) in which the Saint received 
an oral communication from heaven that he was destined to 
glorify the Church by his blood : (3) others, such as Grim 
and the Saga, made two visiotis, instead of one. 



§ I. Giraldus Cambrensis and Grandison 

[806] Giraldus, after describing the vision above- 
mentioned, says that on the second or third day after the 
murder, the knights went to a manor of the Archbishop's 

3 *' Perhaps." If Giraldus Cambrensis was ignorant of the first vision, he 
belongs to this class. More probably, he knew and accepted it, but docs not 
mention it here, because he is confining himself to stories that he " has not seen 
written." In that case, he belongs to class (3). 


called Mailing (Maulinges) for the sake of entertainment 
after their successful exploit. There, the great table, at 
which the Archbishops were wont to dine in public, suddenly 
shook itself in such a way as to cast to the ground with a 
great crash their " harness " ^ and other things placed thereon. 
The servants approached with a light and examined the 
table, but could find no reason for the marvel. A short time 
afterwards, it was repeated : and now the knights came as 
well to look. But no cause could be found. Then said one 
of the knights, " Take hence these things, which even the very 
table seems to think a shameful burden. Hereby we may 
infer the nature of the deed we have perpetrated." 

This story is briefly repeated by Grandison in the four- 
teenth century, thus : ^ " And journeying all that night about 
forty miles, they arrived in the morning at a manor of the 
Archbishop's, called Southmallyng. There, entering the hall, 
whereas (while dining) they had thrown their arms on a 
great dining-table, the table, leaping back, threw them to a 
great distance from itself, refusing to serve these sacrilegious 

[807] The earlier version is here in some respects the 
more marvellous and less trustworthy. It may very well 
have happened that the crash of the armour of the murderers, 
falling from the table of the murdered Archbishop, may have 
given rise to this legend : but that it should have happened 
twice, is more in accordance with notions about the Fitness 
of Things and " the mouth of two witnesses " than with prob- 
ability ; and that one of the knights should have pro- 
nounced his own condemnation in consequence, is in the 
highest degree improbable. 

1 " Hernesium," Mat. ii. 285. Giraldus adds, by way of explanation, " that 
is to say their saddles and pack-saddles (sellas scilicet atque clitellas)." He appears 
to misunderstand the word (O. F. " harnas"), which Grandison (ib. note) rightly 
renders "armour (arma)." 

2 Mat. ii. 285 note. 

§810 HIS MIRACLES 287 

The probable origin of this legend is exaggerated fact. 
There is no trace here, nor need, of linguistic misunderstand- 
ing. The " harness " was probably shaken from the table. 
But -(against Giraldus) it was shaken only once ; and (against 
Grandison) the table did not " leap back and throw it to a 
great distance from itself (resiliens ea longius a se projecit)." 

§ 2. Pseudo-Grim 

[808] Just as the Apostle St Peter, being the foremost 
of the Twelve, was naturally selected by many forgers as 
the patron of spurious Epistles, Apocalypses, and Gospels, 
so Grim — occupying in early popular estimation a more 
prominent place than any of St. Thomas's friends in con- 
nection with the Martyrdom — was chosen to be the fictitious 
author of several " Passions." 

[809] (i.) One of these ^ relates — but with much more 
detail — the Pontigny healing of the dropsied monk described 
above (800-1). The writer professes to have derived it 
" from the faithful relation of a certain one of his companions 
and partners," who attested, on oath, that he had seen what 
he described. Since this " partner " is described as " sitting 
near" St. Thomas during the study of Scripture, and since 
Herbert of Bosham was St. Thomas's Scripture teacher at 
Pontigny, he is, doubtless, the " certain one " meant : so 
that the forger strengthens his position by claiming Herbert 
as the eye-witness and Grim as the recorder. Compared 
with Garnier's, this version shows a negative and a positive 
development. Gamier says that the Saint gave the patient 
something to drink, Pseudo-Grim omits this ; Gamier says 
that the man vomited poisonous matter (" venim et purre- 
ture "), Pseudo-Grim mentions " eleven little frogs." 

[810] (ii.) "How could St. Thomas work miraculous 

> Mat. ii. 2S7-8. 


cures for sick and suffering folk all over the world and yet 
do nothing for the faithful Edward Grim, whose arm was 
almost severed in his defence ? " This question was one 
that must have been asked at an early period ; and the 
natural answer was, " Of course, as was fitting, the Saint 
healed him." But the prolongation of Grim's life prevented 
the early origination of such an affirmative legend. Doubt- 
less, Grim's arm was not restored. If it had been, Christen- 
dom would soon have heard of it, and no biographer of St. 
Thomas would have failed to record it. 

Pseudo-Grim, however, has the following : " So also to 
me — when a year had'passed away and I had at last despaired 
of the uniting of [the bones of] my arm ^ — the venerable 
Martyr himself appeared one night, and, holding my arm, 
swathed it in a moistened strip of linen cloth, saying, 
' Go, thou art healed.' But afterwards I swathed the arm in 
a cloth, dipped in holy water and in his blood, until, by the 
grace of God and the Martyr, the parts of the bone adhered 
to one another ^ by mutual consolidation. The right hand 
of that same arm affords this testimony to its consolidation, 
inasmuch as it has written this very story." 

[811] If this legend had originated very late, it seems 
probable that it would have made the healing more rapid 
and complete. But it came too late, and was too manifestly 
contradicted by the silence of the best authorities, to survive 
as an authoritative miracle. It seems to have no basis at all 
except (i) an inference from the fact that Grim could after- 
wards write, and (2) the Fitness of Things. 

(iii.) Of a different kind is the legend concerning the 
Saracenic origin of St. Thomas's mother, which was inter- 
polated into Grim's narrative, and hence found its way into 
the Late Quadrilogus} 

[812] The writer says that he inserts this story "in 

'■* Mat. ii. 288 "de brachii mei resolidatione. " 

3 lb. literally, " ossa ossibus." * See la. 

.^813 HIS MIRACLES 289 

order that the wonderful predestination of the Saviour may 
hence be perceived, so carefully and so mercifully bringing 
together the parents from the East and from tJte West, and 
from such diverse conditions of birth and circumstance." ^ 
It has been pointed out (587) that similar motives induce 
Benedict to terminate his Book on Miracles with one from 
the extreme East and another from the extreme West : and 
it is natural to conclude that this audacious myth must have 
sprung from no other source than the Fitness of Things, 
without any basis of linguistic error. But it is possible that 
the error may have been suggested, or favoured, by a mis- 
taken rendering of some French tradition about St. Thomas 
the Apostle, the namesake of the Martyr. Gamier calls the 
former " li pareins " ^ of the latter, and says that the Apostle 
is the patron of the East and the Martyr is the patron of 
the West If " pareins " were interpreted as " parent," this 
might give rise to a story that a " parent " of St. Thomas 
was connected with the East This would fall in with the 
view of Pseudo-Grim, that the East and the West had equal 
shares in bringing the Martyr into the world. 

§ 3. Poetic legends 

[813] The Saga relates (192) that the foot-prints of 
the Martyr, in the place where he fought the good fight to 
the end, were miraculously impressed on the pavement, 
which melted like snow to receive the marks hereafter to be 
kissed by pilgrims. The same poem speaks of (445) a 
stream of water miraculously springing up in the crypt, 
where St Thomas was buried, for the healing of the diseases 
of mankind. William of Canterbury ^ illustrates the manner 

' Afat. ii. 453 " ut exinde videlicet facile advertatur quanta cura ac pietate, a 
solis ortu et occasu, genere et conditione tarn diversos, congregavit in unum 
praedestinatio mirifica Salvatoris." 

* •• Li pareins fu ocis et gist en Orient," Gamier, I. 5766. 

' Mat. i. 151. 

VOL. 11 19 


in which such legends as these might spring up, when he 
describes a vision (even before the Saint's canonization) in 
which is heard an antiphon containing the words, " A 
wonderful deed did our Saviour in that He turned thy water 
into wine." Somewhat similar, perhaps, is the legend 
above-mentioned (31), undoubtedly very early, which relates 
how the dead body of the Archbishop, on the night of the 
Martyrdom, arose, and signed itself, and those who stood 
by, with the sign of the cross, and then fell again to earth. 
The miracle of turning water into wine is reported by a 
writer of the early part of the thirteenth century ^ as having 
occurred during the Saint's lifetime at the table of Pope 
Alexander : " One day when the Pope was sitting at table 
with the Bishop («V), happening to be thirsty, he said to the 
boy waiting on him, * Bring me some spring water to drink.' 
When it was brought, the Pope said to the Bishop, ' Bless 
and drink.' On his blessing the water, it was changed into 
wine, and he drank and gave thereof to the Pope. When 
the Pope perceived it was wine, he secretly called the servant 
and said to him, ' What did you bring to me ? ' He replied, 
* Water.' ' Bring me some more,' said the Pope, ' from the 
same supply.' This was done a second time, and once more 
the Pope said to the Bishop, * Brother, bless and drink.' 
The latter knew not that virtue had gone out from himself, 
but supposed that wine had been purposely brought. So 
he blessed, in the simplicity [of his heart], and again it was 
changed into wine ; and he drank and gave thereof to the 
Pope. But the Pope, still not believing, and supposing that 
it had happened through mistake, gave secret orders that 
water should be brought a third time ; and a third time it 
was changed into wine. Then the Pope trembled with fear, 
understanding that the man was a Saint, and that the mighty 
power (virtutem) of God had been celebrated in him." 

2 Mat. ii. 290, Arnold of Lubeck, who flourished about 1209 a.d. 


§ 4. Poetry and Romance 

[814] Some of the stories mentioned in the last section 
may have had some linguistic basis. The signing with the 
cross has been commented on above.^ As regards the 
stream in the crypt, very soon after Easter 1 1 7 1 it became 
the custom for pilgrims to take the Water of Canterbury 
from the tomb to all parts of Europe, for the removal of 
disease — sometimes by lotion, sometirses by drinking. 
Hence it would be quite natural, in Biblical metaphor, to 
speak of the " fountain for sin and uncleanness " — and for 
physical disease as well — opened by the Lord in the crypt 
of the Minster where the Martyr was buried. And when- 
ever the Water was used successfully as a restorative, 
" making glad the heart " of some sick sufferer, by instill- 
ing new life into his veins, it might naturally be called 
a veritable " wine of life." The legend of the foot-prints 
is perhaps to be regarded as an instance of pure poetic 

[815] Of a somewhat different kind are stories that 
have no linguistic basis but arise from the endeavour of a 
pious devotee to throw himself into the position of the 
Saint, so as to realise what was fit for St. Thomas to do — 
which soon is identified with what he actually did — in this 
or that contingency. For example, all devotees of St. 
Thomas were familiar with the proofs of his secret asceticism 
manifested on the night of his martyrdom by the discovery 
of his hair-drawers. The pious imagination, meditating on 
the minutiae of the routine of the Saint's life, seems to have 
asked itself what St. Thomas was to do when his drawers 
required mending. Was he to employ assistance ? Then 
his secret would be divulged. That must not be. Hence, 

' See 373. 


early writers — as early, at least, as 1225" — described how 
the Saint, " ignorant and inexperienced in this work," 
attempted to mend his own drawers, and was " distressed 
about what to do and did not even know how to begin " — 
when " behold, the Queen of the world, not ignorant of such 
tasks . . . saluted the Archbishop, bade him banish his 
fears, comforted him that he might not fear, took the garment 
from his hands, sat by his side, and repaired the rent with 
perfect neatness." 

Such stories as these correspond to the Hagada of Jewish 
literature in which romances are clustered round Biblical 

§ 5. Oral tradition the source of early legend 

[816] One of the most instructive of the conclusions 
above arrived at, is, that, in any outburst of religious enthusi- 
asm based on historical fact, the earliest written accounts are 
likely to include what Garnier calls " lying." 

But there can hardly be a doubt that most of Garnier's 
written " lies " were preceded by oral " lies." It is not likely 
that in i 17 1-2 he would be able to draw largely on written 
documents. Some of his evidence might be derived from 
letters written in the heat of the occurrence, and, as we 
have seen above, often teeming with inaccuracies ; but much 
of it would come from word of mouth. 

[817] When an inaccurate statement is committed to 
writing in an early document, it can often be shewn to be 
false by pointing out either the silence of contemporary 
documents or some manifest misunderstanding. Thus, we 
have seen that an early Passion (30) concluded with the 
words, " Some one came in, when I had written the above, 

2 Mat. ii. 293-6 quotes the story from Thomas Cantimpratensis {clar. 1255), 
but adds that it is also " told in various forms by Caesarius of Heisterbach," and 
others. Caesarius is said (ib. 291) to have flourished about 1225. 

§819 HIS MIRACLES 293 

asserting that one of the murderers of the Archbishop had 
turned mad and killed his own son." Here we see a legend 
coming into existence in its gossip-germ. Possibly it may 
have been a form of the common tradition that Tracy 
" turned against his own flesh." ^ In any case, it came into 
existence too early to survive. If it had originated fifty 
years afterwards, it could not have been so easily contradicted. 
Not having been contradicted, and being in accordance with 
the Fitness of Things, it would probably have grown, become 
prevalent, and we should believe it to this day. The same 
Passion that contains this story based on " some one's asser- 
tion," contains also the legend about the Archbishop's dead 
body blessing those by the bier ; and the latter, like the 
former, is based on oral testimony, " the truth-telling relation 
of men." - 

[818] This Passion, and the narrative of the Pontigny 
miracles by Gamier, shew that within two or three years from 
a Martyr's death it is natural that legends should spring up 
about hint, and that unless eye-witnesses commit to writing 
tlieir reminiscences about him at a very early date, the legends 
are likely to prevail 

§ 6. Prevalence of legend inevitable unless contradicted by 


[819] Suppose the cultus of St. Thomas had risen to the 
height of a religion, tinging with sanctity the biographies 
and Passions of the Martyr, and discrediting and suppressing 
any documents or statements in contemporary history that 
threw doubt upon the veracity of the sacred writings. The 
consequence would have been the absolute prevalence of 
legend, so far as concerns the fate of the four knights. 

* Stanley, p. 105 "According to another, and, as we shall see, more correct 
version, he reached the coast of Calabria, and was then seized at Cosenza with a 
dreadful disorder, which caused him to tear his JUsh from his bones with his own 
hands." 8 Afat. ii. 289 ••veridica hominum relatione." 


[820] Herbert of Bosham asserts that they all died within 
three years (30) of the Martyrdom, and this is confirmed by 
"Matthew of Westminster" (30a). But Morville^ did not 
die till after the first year of King John ; and Tracy, who 
was Justiciary of Normandy in 1 174, was not succeeded in 
that oflfice till 1176." Baronius is quoted as authority for 
the statement that all but Tracy died, after three years of 
fighting, in Palestine, and were buried in front of the church 
of the Holy Sepulchre, or of the Templars at Jerusalem, or 
in front of the church of the Black Mountain.^ Stanley ^ 
alleges Brompton and Hoveden for the fact that " dogs 
refused to eat the crumbs that fell from t/iez'r table " : — which 
is probably an exaggerative induction derived from a saying 
of William of Canterbury that this once happened to Robert 
de Broc.^ 

Tracy, more particularly, has been made the subject of 
legends of disaster and a miserable end, in consequence of 
" the crime of having struck the first blow." ^ Departing to 
the Holy Land, he was prevented by adverse winds from 
reaching his destination. Having arrived at the coast of 
Calabria, he " was then seized at Cosenza with a dreadful dis- 
order, which caused him to tear his flesh from his bones with 
his own hands, calling, ' Mercy, St. Thomas,' and there he 
died miserably, after having made his confession to the 
bishop of the place. His fate was long remembered among 
his descendants in Gloucestershire, and gave rise to the 
distich that — 

'The Tracy's 
Have always the wind in their faces.' " ^ 

* Stanley, p. 107, referring to Lysons' Cumberland, p. 127, Nichols' Pilgrim- 
age of Erasmus, p. 220. 

2 Stanley, p. 108. 

3 lb. p. 104, says that " the legend hardly aims at probabilities." 

* lb. ^ Mat. i. 120. 

'' Stanley, p. 105, quoting Baronius, xix. p. 399 "primus percussor."' 
^ lb. p. 105. 

55 820 HIS MIRACLES 295 

This is all the more interesting because there is every 
reason to believe that Tracy was not the " striker of the first 
blow (primus percussor)." The eye-witness, Grim, says that 
it was Fitzurse. But conjectures, and hear-say reports about 
confessions, and oral traditions generally, asserted that it 
was Tracy. The latter assertion has been adopted by 
Stanley and Tennyson in this century and is likely to be 
believed far into the next — an excellent illustration of the 
protracted triumphs of falsehood over fact. 




§ I. The evil 

That evil sometimes resulted from the belief in St. 
Thomas's miracles, and hence, indirectly, from the miracles 
themselves, is patent even in the pages of his eulogists. 

[821] They soon encouraged both beggary and im- 
posture. Well-to-do pilgrims, on their way to the Martyr's 
shrine, seem sometimes to have made it a part of their vow 
to give something to every one that asked alms in the name 
of St. Thomas. Often, no doubt, like the Chaplain to 
the Sheriff of Devon (560), they provided themselves with 
small change. But we have seen above that a girl who 
had been healed by the Martyr asked for silver (559) : and 
she was probably not acting contrary to the precedents of 
the road. This recognition of the rights of glorified mendi- 
cancy led naturally to deceit of the worst kind. It was 
often profitable to beg one's way to Canterbury and back, 
even as an ordinary pilgrim : but if, besides, one could be 
cured of a disease, receipts might be greatly increased and a 
reputation might also be acquired at home for special 
sanctity. In order to obtain an immediate cure at the 
Martyr's tomb, no way was so certain as to pretend a 
disease that one could immediately lay aside there. That 


these things were so, and were known to the monks, and 
that the monks did their best to detect impostures, Benedict 
proves, for the earh'est years, and William for those later on. 
But William seems, by degrees, to have given up the hope 
of testing the truth of miracles alleged by the poor. For 
them, the temptations to deceit were too great. 

[822] Nor were the clergy and monks themselves free 
from similar temptations. Not that they begged often for 
themselves. But they might advise the erection of a chapel 
to St. Thomas in the neighbourhood, and to that chapel 
would come offerings, and of these offerings the Priest would 
partake. Hence we find the Earl of Albemarle declining to 
build such a chapel unless the " Man of God " who conveyed 
to him the Martyr's precept would swear that he was not 
influenced by any hope of private profit.^ Again, the cultus 
of St. Thomas implied a most jealous observance, if not 
exaggeration, of the secular rights of the clergy. As John of 
Salisbury observed," this was one great reason for circulating 
everywhere the Martyr's miracles. The object was, not to 
honour him merely, but to honour him by honouring his 
cause, that cause for which he had given his life, " the rights 
and liberties of the Church." In the flesh, the Saint had 
been very strict and hard indeed in demanding every 
farthing of money and inch of land to which the Church was 
entitled. So he was still in the spirit — as at least the two 
chroniclers of miracles (especially William) frequently state 
or imply. Over and over again, the slightest infraction of a 
vow, or even delay to pay a vow, is represented as being 
punished with great severity. 

All this might enhance the worldly wealth of the Church, 
but it did not tend to morality. It was very well, for 
example, that an oppressor, rejecting the widow's prayer for 
her property wrested from her, should succumb to her curse 

See 613. * Sec 661. 


in the name of St. Thomas, crying out that he was " a dead 
man " and falling at that instant dead from his horse : ^ but 
it was not good that the farmer Helias should be deprived 
by St. Thomas of a particularly fat bullock, because he had 
declined to defer to a neighbour's casual suggestion that he 
should give it to the Martyr. The punishment might well 
seem all the more severe because Helias had recently made 
the Martyr a similar gift.^ 

[823] To these evils we must in fairness add the 
intellectual degradation resulting from the neglect or con- 
tempt of physical remedies, a neglect inculcated by William 
with evangelical fervour. Nor must there be omitted the 
mingled moral and intellectual deterioration arising from 
the indiscriminate way in which the Saint seemed to bestow 
his favours, refusing a cure to one, and (in precisely the same 
circumstances, as it seemed) denying it to another — nay, 
even punishing, in one child, conduct that he regarded as 
disrespectful to his tomb, while not punishing it, perhaps 
even rewarding it, in others who had not the excuse of 
childhood. On a combined view of all these evils, we might 
be tempted to conclude that St. Thomas's miracles did more 
harm than good. 

.§ 2. The good 

[824] Perhaps that conclusion would be true, if the 
evils above-mentioned had not already existed. If St. 
Thomas for the first time had taught pilgrims to beg, and 
sometimes to cheat ; if this Saint had been the first to 
encourage the belief that Saints were better healers than 
the regular physicians ; and if no other ecclesiastic, before 
Becket, had unfairly and unwisely exaggerated the privileges 
of the clergy, perhaps it might be maintained that the 
Canterbury cures were not worth their price. But it was 

3 See 595. ^ See 699. 



!^ 825 HIS MIRACLES 299 

not so. Beggary and imposture, and superstition, and 
narrow ecclesiasticism already existed. Grant that these 
evils were indirectly increased by the emotional thrill that 
ran through Europe, filling the minds of men with illusions, 
and bringing thousands from all corners of the world to offer 
prayers at the shrine of the new Martyr : yet was it nothing 
that in those ages of brute force and cunning, a thrill of 
sympathetic admiration for a brave monk, who had stood 
up unarmed to contend against force for what he deemed 
the cause of right and justice, should manifest itself by 
wonderful dreams, and visions, and cures, and restorations, 
and reanimations that sometimes seemed to amount to an 
actual raising from the dead ? 

[825] I should be disposed to think that almost all the 
early miracles were facts, corresponding largely to the 
descriptions of them — those, I mean, narrated in Benedict's 
treatise as occurring in the days when the Martyr's fame 
was not yet strong enough to suppress his enemies in the 
flesh, when it was dangerous to be cured at his tomb, and 
dangerous even to talk of being thus cured. But if these 
early miraculous narratives were generally authentic or 
historical, the " emotional shock " must have been strong 
indeed. No other Saint canonized in the Christian Church 
— so say St. Thomas's biographers, and probably with 
correctness — could boast of so many acts of healing. More- 
over, in the Lives of the Saints, the miracles related are 
often very vaguely described and poorly attested : but, in 
the books of St. Thomas's Miracles, several are so circum- 
stantially detailed by chroniclers near the time, and so well 
certified, that a scientific man, while denying their super- 
natural character, is forced to admit their extraordinary 
nature, and to regard them as cures wrought through the 
imagination, far exceeding in rapidity (and sometimes even 
in completeness and permanence) anything that could be 
effected by recognized medical means. 


[826] Fully admitting that for every pilgrim cured at 
the tomb, and for every distant vow uttered and fulfilled, 
there were multitudes of pilgrims uncured and vows un- 
fulfilled, we are, on the other hand, informed by the 
chroniclers that many others were cured, and many vows 
fulfilled, unknown to the monks of Canterbury. And even 
had that not been so, surely the list as it stands, after 
eliminating from it all doubtful cases, contains instances 
enough, not to be denied by any man of sense, suflficient to 
make it worth while for a hero to have died as the Martyr 
did, if only to produce them. Supposing that in the brief 
period under observation there were but forty or fifty cases 
of disease, agonizing, or loathsome, or both, given up by the 
physicians of those days as hopeless, but healed by the 
Physician of Canterbury : would they not, by themselves, 
constitute, for most men, a considerable life-work — much 
more, a considerable death-work ? 

§ 3. Did the miracles result from the man or frovi 
the circumstances ? 

[827] But it may be urged that these so-called miracles 
cannot fairly be attributed to Becket personally, but rather 
to the accidental place and manner of his death ; that, 
historically, he was not a saint, but a man of hot and un- 
controlled temper, finding vent in violence of act and word ; 
and that, if he had died in the ordinary way, no virtue could 
have gone out from him to the sick and suffering. " Had 
Becket died in his bed," it may be urged, " people in 
England and France would still have been healed by 
miracles in the year 1 1 7 1 . The Saint, and the place, would 
have been different : that is all. Bury St. Edmund's would 
have been so much the more frequented, or so many more 
would have gone to St. James of Compostella. Canterbury 
would have been left alone, and Thomas — not Saint Thomas 



but plain Thomas — would have rested, an unhelpful corpse, 
with other commonplace corpses of ordinary Archbishops in 
an unvisited grave." 

[828] This is so far true that we must admit at once 
that Becket, dying an ordinary death, would probably not 
have cured a single spasm of rheumatism. But it by no 
means follows, either that other Saints would have made up 
for his deficiency, or that he is so far to be separated from his 
death that it is to be called an accident instead of an act. 
If Becket had died in his bed, pilgrims might still have gone 
to St. Edmund, St. James, the two Apostles in Rome, or the 
Tomb in Jerusalem ; but it would have been in the old slack 
and (comparatively) lifeless and formal way. There is no 
more reason to doubt that Becket caused a religious revival, 
than that Wesley and Whitfield did. The two chroniclers 
of miracles agree in asserting that the miracles brought with 
them an uprising of moral and religious fervour, and indirectly 
prove it by multitudinous details recorded without con- 
troversial purpose. It was brief indeed, but it was powerful 
while it lasted. The churches built by the Archbishop's 
former enemies as well as by his countless worshippers, are 
outward monuments of a strong inward protest against the 
violent and oppressive character often assumed by the secular 
forces of the time — or at all events of concessions from the 
strong to the strength of such a protest from the weak. It 
was not the Saxon against the Norman, it was the poor and 
weak oppressed against the rich and strong oppressor, that 
everywhere — alike in England and France and through 
the Latin-speaking world — rose up in the might of St. 
Thomas the Martyr, and decreed that he must be a Saint, 
even before the Papal edict had made him one. Most of 
those healed in the days of the earliest miracles have English 
names. But their passionate reverence and their wonder- 
working faith did not arise in their hearts from patriotic 
motives, because they were " English born." It was because 


they were wronged, or liable to be wronged, that they took 
up the cause for which the New Martyr of the English had 
shed his blood. The Church, though sometimes defective 
and corrupt, was nevertheless felt by the poor to be often 
their only protection against outrage, and the Martyr 
typified her championing spirit. 

§ 4. St. Thomas a true Saint, though militant 

[829] And who shall say that Becket did not in large 
measure combine with the cause of ecclesiasticism this 
wider view of the rights and liberties of the Christian 
Ecclesia, and that he did not deliberately prepare to lay 
down his life for what seemed to him the cause of righteous- 
ness ? In spite of an apparent mixture of motives, and 
a possible alloy of personal antipathies and violent animosities, 
he leaves the impression of a great and fearless soul regarding 
itself as an instrument of a great and noble cause. Had he 
remained Henry's Chancellor, he might have been content to 
abide in the feudal world, " the King's man." But being led 
— perhaps not forced, but led — into the Primate's chair, and 
feeling himself thenceforth " Christ's man," he was moved 
to look about him and to reduce things to order. 

All great men of the permanently conquering type — 
not nomad savage destroyers, but permanent conquerors — 
have a craving for order ; and the " order " of Christ's 
Church implied social development ; and social development 
was incompatible with feudal brutality ; and against feudal 
brutality the new Archbishop deemed, probably without 
reason, that the only security in his days lay in a strict 
and full maintenance, perhaps even in some enlargement, of 
what may be called the secular rights of the clergy. Being 
what he was, and where he was, he was almost bound to 
collide, as the champion of invisible powers, with the repre- 
sentatives of visible and physical force : and his violent 



^ 831 HIS MIRACLES ^^^^^ 303 

death, far from being an accident, ought rather to surprise 
us because it did not happen earlier as the inevitable result 
of his life and character. 

[830] Had St. Thomas been a St. Simeon Stylites, a 
cold-blooded ascetic, or a mere ecclesiastical machine, it is 
doubtful whether he would have appealed, as he did, to 
the imagination of the people of England, and, through them, 
to Europe. His biographies abound in testimony to his 
sympathetic and winning ways, and to his broad and almost 
worldly acceptance of the fashions of this world, combined 
with an inward purity of heart and a resolute determination 
not to conform to the world in his real self A generous, 
passionate, and high-spirited " knight of the Holy Ghost," he 
moved among the knights of the world the flesh and the 
devil, with a non -ecclesiastical outward tolerance, learned 
perhaps when he was in business with his kinsman Osborn, 
and — on a larger scale and in higher life — in business as 
the King's Chancellor. Hence arose, perhaps, his habit of 
conciliating and outwardly conceding — sometimes even of 
appearing to compromise as to matters of principle — when 
it was ultimately certain that he would not recede a foot 
from the position defined for him by his inflexible will. It 
was this combination of the man of the world with the man 
of the Spirit that first induced him to assent verbally to the 
Constitutions of Clarendon and then to refuse to ratify 
his assent. 

[831] His double nature shone forth clearly enough to 
strike the imagination of all England, when he " fought with 
wild beasts " in the hall of Northampton Castle. There sat 
the Saint, embracing the cross, deserted by his bishops, alone 
in championing the Church against the World : yet, when 
he passed through the hall to the castle gate, there walked 
the knight amidst the throng of his enemies, calling one a 
bastard, and another a scoundrel, and telling a third that 
he would have liked nothing better, had he been a layman, 


than to compel him, at the sword's point, to withdraw the 
charge of " traitor." Meanwhile the English nation, repre- 
sented by the mixed multitude outside the castle gate, 
awaited their Archbishop with loving and enthusiastic 
reverence, almost prepared to make a Saint of him already, 
and loving him perhaps the better when they heard that he 
had used as hard words about some of the King's knights as 
St. Paul and St. Peter about the enemies of Christ. 

[832] Being what he was, St. Thomas provoked the 
knights to kill him, against their will, even in a church. 
Being also what he was, he took hold of the hearts of the 
English people, became to them a household word as well 
as a church word, and occasionally so far influenced their 
imaginations as to influence their bodies also. The miracles, 
then, like the Martyrdom, are a part of the man, and no 
student of facts should ignore them. If it is asserted that 
he so strengthened the Church as to prepare it to unite 
with the barons against King John, and that his real and 
permanent influence on posterity is to be looked for in such 
indirect contribution as he may have made towards the 
securing of the Great Charter of the liberties of the Nation 
and the Church — that is no answer to the question, " How 
did Becket strengthen the Church ? " It is like Gibbon's 
attempt to explain the growth of Christianity by saying, 
among other things, that it deepened the belief in a future 
life, united its disciples in a close fellowship, and so on — the 
real question being, " How did Christianity — which was but 
one of many religions that inculcate the dogma of a future 
life — succeed better than other religions in ' deepening this 
belief,' and in stamping it on the lives, as well as on the 
creeds, of its early adherents ? and Jiow did it enable its 
members to ' love one another ' ? " 

[833] These miraculous narratives, in spite of their large 
admixture of exaggeration, misunderstanding, and erroneous 
statement, distinctly help us to answer the question suggested 



by Gibbon's imperfect explanation. They make us realize 
how human nature — always weakly acted on by mere ideas, 
and always craving for incarnations of those ideas — can 
receive a great and simultaneous upheaval extending through 
many churches and nations, from the noble death of a noble 
man representing what seems to the masses a noble and 
unselfish cause. This is one of the many triumphs of mind 
over matter. Through ballads, sermons, pictures, and, above 
all, through stories of pilgrims passing to and from the 
Martyr's Memorial, there was gradually conveyed to the 
minds of almost all the sick and suffering folk in England, 
and to their sympathising households and friends, the image 
of St. Thomas before the altar, clothed in white, with the 
streak of blood across his face. This vision, or this 
thought, resulted in a multitude of mighty works of healing, 
rescue from agony, restoration to peace and health. What 
wonder if these sank deep into the minds of the masses ? 
Wherever the church bells were set ringing for a restored 
cripple, surely it cannot be surprising that in that village 
St. Thomas should be a patron Saint — perhaps the Patron, 
perhaps almost overshadowing Jesus Himself — for at least a 
generation. The wonder is, not that these marvels influenced 
men so much, but that they did not influence them much more. 



§ I. The parallel between them 

[834] Some of the causes of decay in the cultus of St. 
Thomas have been indicated above in the impostures, and 
consequent suspicions of imposture, which soon connected 

VOL. 11 20 


themselves with the miracles wrought in his name. But 
another reason lay in the Saint's own imperfections. Com- 
pared with that of St, Francis, St. Thomas's scope was 
indeed narrow. A strenuous champion of the poor and out- 
raged, he had washed his robes in blood for the cause of 
righteous order, and was enabled to diffuse through the 
bodies as well as the souls of great multitudes that healthful 
shock and revivifying glow which it is sometimes a Martyr's 
privilege to bestow. But, as there is a distinction between 
" receiving a prophet " and " receiving a righteous man," so 
is there between " receiving a martyr " and " receiving a 
saint " : " he that receiveth a martyr receiveth a martyr's 
reward, and he that receiveth a saint receiveth a saint's 
reward." To " receive " St. Thomas of Canterbury was one 
thing ; to " receive " St. Francis was quite another. The 
former could help the body wonderfully and the soul in- 
directly ; the latter could help the spirit of man with a con- 
tinuous flow of help from which the thirsty can drink to this 
day, when the stream from Canterbury is almost dried up. 

[835] Nevertheless the Martyr's work is not yet done. 
By this, I do not mean simply to assert the truism that we 
must continue to be the unconscious recipients of historical 
influence distantly derived from him through circuitous 
channels. As much as this might be said of any great 
Englishman. The peculiarity of St. Thomas's helpfulness 
for Christians at the present time is to be discerned in the 
old parallel, drawn by his contemporaries, between the 
Martyr and the Saviour. Protestants may be tempted to 
deny it, repelled by the fanciful exaggerations of Herbert of 
Bosham and the rest. Yet undoubtedly such a parallel exists, 
not indeed in respect of personality, but in the circumstances, 
and still more in the sequel, of their deaths. 


§ 2. TJie parallel in facts 

[836] Two men, put to death by the powers of this 
world as disturbers of its peace ; two men who, after death, 
immediately began to appear in visions, with the marks of 
martyrdom upon them, and to utter words of help or warning, 
and to work mighty works of healing, sometimes imparting 
to those who believed in them the power of instantaneously 
shaking off apparently incurable disease, sometimes imparting 
the power of curing disease in others, through appeal to the 
Saviour or the Martyr, sometimes reanimating the apparently 
lifeless in such circumstances as to suggest a veritable raising 
from the dead — here in itself is a parallel worth considering. 
Again, what follows ? By degrees, in both cases, the miracles, 
after the first great outburst, diminish, fade away, come finally 
to nothing. In the Christian Church there remained for 
many generations the class of professional exorcists : but 
very soon they became little more than an empty name — 
much like English shrines and relics of St. Thomas of 
Canterbury in the early part of the sixteenth century, sacred 
by traditions, and with many memorials of former wonder- 
working efficacy, but themselves efficacious now no longer. 

[837] Side by side with these acts of healing — marvellous, 
indeed, but explicable from known natural causes — we find 
attributed to both men, or to the Providence that worked for 
them, acts inexplicable from any such causes, such as the 
change of water to wine, the instantaneous withering of a 
tree, the leaping or extraction of a fish out of the water in 
order to provide for some special need, the stopping of a 
mill-wheel by itself, the multiplication of money, or of food ; 
and, in the case of both men, we find it possible to explain 
these stories, when they occur in the earliest narratives, from 
a confusion of the spiritual with the material, and from a 
misunderstanding of metaphor as literal. 


[838] It is often said concerning the Gospels, that, if 
some of them were written as early as thirty or forty years 
after Christ's death, there is not time enough to allow the 
growth of the legendary element from the misunderstanding 
of metaphor. How, it is asked, could the leaven so rapidly 
pervade the biographies of the Saviour that the legendary 
now appears almost inseparable from the historical ? But 
here again we find a parallel and something more. Many of 
the accounts of the life and death of Becket were written 
ivithin five years of his martyrdom. Many of the miracles — 
certainly those recorded by their earliest chronicler — were 
written down at the very time of their occurrence. Yet even in 
these early documents we find that writers, speaking from 
"veracious relation," record portentous falsehoods, or let us 
rather say non-facts, and that even writers depending upon 
the evidence of eye-witnesses, and sometimes (though much 
more rarely) on the witness of their own eyes, fall into 
astonishing errors, many of which take the direction of such 
amplification as to convert the wonderful but explicable into 
the miraculous and inexplicable. 

§ 3. The parallel in documents 

[839] Again, from the point of view of documentary 
criticism, there is much to be gained from a comparison of 
the Martyr literature with our Gospels. As there are four 
Gospels, so were there four Biographies of St. Thomas, 
recognized in very early times as especially authoritative. 
Tatian in the second century made a harmony of the four 
Gospels called Diatessaron : Elias of Evesham made a 
harmony of the four Biographies, and called it Quadrilogus. 
In blending the four, the Diatessaron sometimes alters, 
sometimes inserts, sometimes confuses one with the other : 
so does the Quadrilogus. Again, Tatian's Diatessaron was 
so freely remoulded in later times that the texts of the 

^840 HIS MIRACLES 309 

Latin, the Arabic, and the Armenian versions hardly ever 
agree together against the revised text of the orthodox 
Gospels. So, too, the Quadrilogus was recast ; and the 
latest version, including extracts from Grim and Fitzstephen, 
and adding legendary matter, was the first to be given 
to the world in print, and still holds the usurped title of 
The First Quadrilogus. The fourth of our Gospels was 
written long after the three : so was the fourth of the 
authoritative lives. The fourth Gospel professes to be 
written by one who knew Jesus as a friend : the fourth 
Biography was actually written by St. Thomas's intimate 
friend and instructor in Scripture. That Gospel makes 
no mention of demoniacs and recounts few miracles : that 
Biography expressly claims that it is written in order to 
bring out the Man, and implies that its object is that the 
Man should emerge from the miracles under which he was 
in danger of being smothered. 

[840] Besides our four Gospels, we know that there 
were many others, and have reason to believe that in the 
variations of our Gospel MSS. we find occasional traces of 
earlier Gospels suppressed, or neglected, by the Church, and 
now altogether lost. As regards the Biographies we are 
more fortunate in actually having many of those accounts of 
the Saint's life and death that were discarded by the authors 
of both the Early and the Late Quadrilogus ; and one of 
these we find to be in many respects far more trustworthy, 
and far richer in facts of interest, than some of the four 
authoritative Biographies. In the Gospels, there are traces 
of different points of view in the writers : one regarding 
matters as a Jew might, another as a Gentile ; one paying 
attention to style, another thinking of nothing but fact ; one 
omitting what another inserts, and vice versa. There are 
also here and there passages in which writers agree almost 
verbatim, interspersed with others where they do not agree 
at all, or only in the words uttered by Jesus and by those 


with whom He is conversing. All these phenomena recur 
in the Biographies, and still more frequently in the two 
Books of Miracles. 

[841] As our Greek Gospels shew signs of being derived 
from a Hebrew or Aramaic original, which in some cases 
may explain their divergences from each other, so our 
Biographies shew traces of French influence in general, and 
possibly of being derived in particular from a French poem 
composed by an admirer of the Martyr, within five years of the 
Martyrdom. Lastly, as we sometimes find aid in criticizing 
our Greek text by reference to early Latin versions, so may 
we be often helped in criticizing differences between our 
Latin biographies by comparing them with an Icelandic 
Saga on St. Thomas, which closely follows the best authorities 
but sometimes adds traditions peculiar to itself, and which 
was probably composed before, or soon after, the end of the 
twelfth century, that is to say, little more than thirty years 
after the Martyrdom. 

§ 4. Its bearing on New Testament criticism 

[842] From all these facts the inference is that students 
of the four Gospels and collateral literature will do well to 
study the four Biographies, the two Books of Miracles, and 
the other early traditions, relating to St. Thomas of Canter- 
bury. What may be the ultimate conclusions to which such 
a study will lead, is not a question that ought greatly to 
affect a real student and seeker after truth. Some, led by the 
evidence to accept the miracles of the Martyr as supernatural, 
may be confirmed in the belief that those of the Saviour are 
also supernatural and that the evangelical accounts of them 
may be accepted as exactly historical. Others, led by the 
same evidence to deny the supernatural character of St. 
Thomas's miracles, may be confirmed in their belief that the 
Gospel miracles, being also natural, prove nothing as to the 


§846a ^^_^^HIS MIRACLES 311 

divine claim of the Founder of the Christian reh'gion. A 
third class — possibly, for some time, a small one — may 
agree with the present writer in some at least of the follow- 
ing conclusions : 

[843] (i) In the two Books of St. Thomas's Miracles 
few or none of the early miracles, and in the Gospels none 
at all, can be explained by imposture. 

[844] (2) In both cases, a clear distinction must be 
drawn between {a) miracles wrought on human nature, which 
are substantially to be accepted, and {b) miracles wrought 
on non-human nature, e.g. bread, wine, water, trees, swine, 
birds, etc. The latter are not to be accepted as historical, but 
as legends explicable from poetry taken as prose (i.e. from 
metaphor regarded as literal) or from linguistic error, or from 
these two causes combined. 

[845] (3) The power of healing disease through the 
emotions extends not only to the paralysed, the deaf, dumb, 
and lame, but to the blind also, and to those afflicted with 
skin disease. 

[846] (4) Death is sometimes preceded by several 
hours of apparent lifelessness, so that ordinary observation, 
and perhaps even average medical skill, may be unable to 
detect any trace of life. During this period, reanima- 
tion may follow from the passionate appeal of a nurse, 
father, or mother, if uttered under a strong faith in a Power 
that will raise up the [person alleged to be] dead. Some- 
times, even without any such appeal as can be heard by the 
dead, the strength of the appellant's faith itself may produce 
the same effect. 

[846rt] Hence it is quite easy to accept the story of the 
raising of Jairus's daughter. The raising of the Widow's 
son at Nain might also be easily accepted, so far as physio- 
logical considerations go. But the objections against it are, 
1st, that Luke alone inserts it, 2nd, that it is omitted by the 
parallel narrative of Matthew in the place where we might 


expect its insertion ; 3rd, that it shews traces of originating 
from allegory misunderstood ; 4th, that its place in Luke's 
Gospel — where it comes just before the Lord's words "the 
dead are raised" — suggests that the writer may have been 
predisposed to receive, as literal, some poetical tradition, 
because the literal version agreed with the Fitness of Things : 
" How could Jesus say, ' the dead are raised,' if he had not 
raised at least two dead persons ? " 

[847] The Raising of Lazarus is far more credible than 
the Raising at Nain. If critics can hereafter explain the 
omission of so striking an act by the Synoptists, there would 
be no difficulty (regard being had to the personality of Jesus) 
in accepting John's story as substantially historical, unless a 
strong case could be made out for an allegorical origin. 

[848] (5) Two or three accounts of the restoration by 
St. Thomas of members that had been extracted or cut off, 
are so extraordinary and well-attested that they deserve the 
attention of experts. But probably there was no real restora- 
tion. So far as concerns the cases of blinding, the eye may 
have been gashed, but not extracted, and there is evidence 
to shew that, in days when such mutilation was a common 
punishment for theft, it was recognized that some power of 
sight might remain. 

[849] In any case, even if St. Thomas's miracles of this 
class could be accepted, the similar miracle assigned by 
Luke's Gospel alone to Jesus (the restoration of the severed 
ear to the high priest's servant) could not be accepted, and 
for three reasons : ist, it is omitted by the three evangelists 
who describe the cutting off of the ear ; 2nd, one of these, 
the author of the fourth Gospel, wrote long after Luke, 
and must have known Luke's account. His omission of 
it can best be explained on the ground that, he knew it to 
be based on error ; ^ 3rd, its origin is easily explicable 

* The theory that he omitted it as being superfluous, or well known already, 
is too ridiculous to need refutation. 

^851 HIS MIRACLES 313 

as a misunderstanding of an original tradition to the effect 
that Jesus said " Let it be restored to its place." These 
words were meant by Jesus to apply to Peter's sword, 
which was to be put back into its sheath : but Luke, or the 
tradition followed by Luke, took them to mean " Let the ear 
be restored to its place." 

[850] (6) The power of working extraordinary acts of 
faith-healing does not necessarily imply the far higher power 
of inspiring concord and mutual affection binding a com- 
munity into one. The absence of any such power is con- 
spicuous in the Martyr's case. The monks of Canterbury 
were constant spectators of St. Thomas's miracles : yet there 
are many signs that he had not bequeathed to them unity 
among themselves. Repentance, confession of sins, personal 
piety, and individual aspiration to holiness, were probably 
stimulated for a time by his influence : but there are more 
signs of it without, than within, the walls of the Canterbury 
Minster. And even in the Church and people at large there 
seems to have resulted from St. Thomas nothing of the 
spiritual influence that came from St. Francis.- 

[851] (7) The real use of these extraordinary acts is 
that they break the monotony of palpable cause and palpable 
effect in a fleshly, materialistic, and unimaginative generation. 
Startled by the intrusion of a novel and impalpable cause, 
the carnal mind is forced, first, to recognize the power of the 
Spirit over the flesh in healing bodily disease, and then to 
say to the Spirit, " Thou hast healed us : what wouldst thou 
now have us to do ? " 

Here it is that the spirit of the active, aggressive, militant, 
and quasi-worldly Saint differs from that of the Saint pure 
and simple — the Saint of peace and perfect insight, the 
Saint of harmonious sympathy with the Powers of goodness. 

■•* It must be admitted, however, that early and violent dissension arose among 
the followers of St. Francis on the subject of the Franciscan Rule (see Sabatier's 
Speculum Perfectionis, Introd. p. xix.). 


And here it is also that even the highest in this chosen band 
of purest Saints seem to Christians to fall behind the Saint 
of Saints, the Man so wholly rapt into the divine Order that 
He is at one with the Father of all. 

The spirit of St. Thomas had no power to pass into 
the hearts of men with a distinct and permanently vivifying 
message of its own, conveying to them peace, love, unity, and 
ultimate conformity of the human to the divine. But the 
Spirit of Him whom we worship has both that message, and 
that power. The time will come when His miracles will be 
rated at their true worth. Some will be read as mere 
emblematic stories exhibiting Him as the Bread of Life, the 
Controller of the Storm, the Promised First-born, the Son of 
the Blessed — the Song of the angels of heaven, and the Hope 
of men on earth. Others will be read as narratives of fact, 
shewing how, besides bearing the burdens of their sin. He 
sympathized with men's foulest diseases and sorest agonies of 
the flesh, and how virtue passed out from Him to banish 
physical as well as spiritual disorder. But not on account 
of either the one or the other will He be worshipped. He 
will be men's God for ever so far as He reigns in their hearts 
as the active representative of that Spirit of Life, Light, and 
Order, to which we are all aspiring, and in which we desire 
to live. The influence of the Martyr largely died with the 
decay of his miracles. The Spirit of the Saviour will then 
be most vitally present with mankind when they refuse, with 
the Fourth Gospel, to call His miracles by any other name 
than " signs," and when they recognize, as His " signs " of 
greatest might and wonder, not those which He worked 
once, but those which He is working now. 


[The references are to subsections, indicated by black numbers in the 
preceding pages, see la.] 

" Agonotheta," for "athleta," 146, 
170 (n. i6) 

Alan, Prior of Canterbury, 22 ; his 
high character, 540 ; he supplements 
the biography written by John of 
Salisbury, 22 

Alms, miraculously provided or re- 
stored, 559, 560 

Altar, the, St. Thomas did not die 
before, 162 (comp. 133, 232, 276 
(n. 26) ) 

Anchors, recovered after vows to St. 
Thomas, 723 

Animals, miracles on : see Bird, Cow, 
Lamb, etc. 

"Anon I." (indicates an anonymous 
writer commonly called, on no evi- 
dence, " Roger of Pontigny "), the 
character and date of his work, 25 ; 
his relation to Gamier, 25<7, 184a, 
253, 401 ; baselessness of evidence 
for calling him " Roger of Pontigny," 
26^ ; his accurate account of the 
first blow inflicted on the Archbishop, 
254 ; value of his evidence, 354 ; 
his account of St. Thomas's rescue 
from drowning, 398 ; question as to 
his name, 25, 422 (n. i) ; is silent 
about St. Thomas's alleged miracles 
at Pontigny, 797-9 

Antiphon, in English, in honour of St. 
Thomas, sung in a vision, 594 

'* Antiquity," declared " fatuous " by 
William, 643 

Arnold of Lubeck tells how St. Thomas 

changed water into wine, 595 
Ashes, dying on, 688 (n. 3) 

Babe, a, sings Kyrie Eleison, 635 

Baldwin, Archbishop of Canterbury, 
21 ; Herbert dedicates hb book to, 

Bath, waters of, 744 

Battle, trial by, 573 

Becket, Thomas : see Thomas, St. 

Bedford, letter from the burgesses of, 

Beer is made miraculously to ferment, 

Benedict, date of his writings, 18 ; sup- 
posed by some to have written a 
biography of St. Thomas, 50<j, 
107a ; his text probably given inaccur- 
ately in the Qiiadrilogns, 275a ; his 
trustworthiness, 404, 425(i ; the 
singular value of his testimony, 449 ; 
his candour in describing imperfect 
cures, 499-501 ; is rebuked by a 
woman for scepticism, 514 ; Benedict 
(or William) quotes Ovid, 536-7; 
Benedict's style too simple for the 
monks of Canterbury, 538; the style 
of his book alters when William 
"comes to his aid," 543; silences 
dogs in the name of St. Thomas, 
566; chronological order is discarde<l 
toward the end of his book, 680; 
the last part not in Benedict's style, 



584; a miracle dated 1202 a.d., 
probably an error for 1192 A.D., 
586 ; probably continued to collect 
miracles when Abbot of Peterborough, 
588 ; contrast between Benedict and 
William in their narratives of leprosy, 
768 ; two distinct styles in some of 
Benedict's narratives, 770 

Bezant, a, preserved by St. Thomas, 

Bird-miracles, 526, 642, 664, 602 

"Bishop," for "Archbishop," 54 

Bishops, rule as to number of, necessary 
for consecration, 607 

Blasphemy against St. Thomas, for- 
given, 667 ; punished, 505 

Blinding, as a jiunishment for theft, 
576 {see Mutilation) ; apparently 
sometimes imperfect, 577 

Blindness, first alleged cure of, must be 
rejected, 433^ ; other cures, 457, 
400, 530, 534, 554, 677 ; a boy 
blind from birth, 500 ; a man blind 
from birth, his utterances on receiv- 
ing sight, 522 ; a blind Cornishman 
cured, 523 ; a partial cure, 565 ; cured 
at the shrine of St. Laurence, 614 

Blindness inflicted as a punishment, for 
imposture, 554 ; for contempt of the 
blind, 556 ; for filial disobedience, 

Blood of St. Thomas, mixed with water, 
424 : see Water of St. Thomas 

Boetius, 643 

Bolt, a, that "came off by itself," 87 

Bone, extracted from a wound, de- 
posited at the Martyr's tomb, 500 
(n. II) 

Book, a, to be given for the chapel of a 
hospital, 604 

Bosham, Herbert of : see Herbert 

Bowels, diseases of the, 481-2, 453 

Brito, or le Bret, Richard, 268, 280 

Broc, Ranulf de, 440; called by St. 
Thomas "the son of perdition," 460 

Broc, Robert de, 46-0, 422 

Broc, William de, cured by St. Thomas, 

Burial, speediness of, 732 (4) ; of per- 
sons killed by lightning, 640 

Business, the evils of, 627 

Cancer. 737 

Candles, "measuring for," 474, 491, 

495, 527, 710 (4) ; miracles relating 

to, 502-6, 536, 648 
Canonization of St. Thomas, the, anti- 
cipated in a vision, 503 
Canterbury : see Cathedral, Prior 
Cap, the Archbishop's, struck off by 

Fitzurse, different accounts of this, 

205 ; not mentioned by Gamier, 

231,252-4; Herbert's account, 276 

(n. 24) 
Captivity, deliverance from, 586 
Cathedral, the, confused with the Palace, 

108/', 203rt 
Cato, paralleled with St. Thomas, 502 
Cecilia, St., sewing on festival of, 

punished, 535 
Chains, loosed by St. Thomas, 610 
" Chance," misuse of the word, 620 
" Chapel," a word used by Gamier to 

mean the crown of the head, 202a, 

Chapels are to be built to St. Thomas, 

613 ; are built, 647, 605 
Charms, employment of, 470, 400, 

608 ; tried by a priest, 527 
Cheese, miraculously revealed when 

lost, 528 
Cherrystone in the nose, 406 
Child (see Drowning, Miracles, etc.), 

sings Kyrie Eleison, 635 
Childish terrors, 402 
"Christ," i.e. anointed, a name given 

to St. Thomas, 7O0 ( i ) 
Cilice, miraculously mended, 815 
Clare, Earl and Countess of, 758 
Clergy, the marriage of, 601 
Clothing of St. Thomas, a patient 

wrapped in, 603; "a scrap'/' of it 

desired by the Bishop of Poitiers, 641 
Coin, miraculously found, 531 
Cologne, dialect of, 558 
Colresand, 721 
" Complodere," not " clasp " as Stanley 

translates it, 136 (n. 18), 272 (n. 18) 
Compostella, pilgrimage to, 558 
Confession, " to thirteen priests," 470 ; 

' ' eleven times a week," 405 ; offered 

by a father hoping for his daughter's 

recovery, 500 


Confirmation, administration of, St. 
Thomas did not confirm on horse- 
back, 533 

Consumption, 507 

Contortions, 485, 487 

Contractions of limbs, 605, etc. 

Convulsions at the Martyr's tomb pre- 
ceding a cure, 468, 471, 483, 485 

Comishman, a, cured of blindness, 523 

"Corona," meanings of, 224 (n. 12), 
332 (n. 27) 

Cow, a, restored to life, 700 ; killed by 
St. Thomas, 699 

Cross, the, taken by a patient cured, 471 

Cross, the Archbishop's, by whom 
carried, 70a 

Crosses erected, 533 

Crucifixion, visions of, 146, ie2a, 

Crutches, thrown aside at the Martyr's 
tomb, 468, 470, 480 

Crypt of Canterbury Cathedral opened 
after the murder, 469 

Curbaran of Dover, "simple enough 
to pray for the Martyr," 531 

Cures {see Imperfect Cures and Re- 
lapses), preceded by vomiting, 473 ; 
by sounds in the head, 474-5 ; by 
convulsions, 468, 471, 483, 485 ; by 
a feeling that the Cathedral was " too 
narrow," 483 ; gradual, 508 

Cut thumb, healed, 552 

Damascus, captivity at, 586 

Date, of the Martyrdom, generally given 
wrongly, 318, 346 ; other confusions 
of, 347 

Deafness healed, 475, 575 

Death, often preceded by apparent life- 
lessness, 846 ; pious, after remedies 
had been vainly tried, 497-8 

Death, Restoration homisc-e Drowning), 
609 ; of a lamb, 630 ; of a bull by 
St. Silvester, 630 ; a doubtful case, 
631 ; of a sucking-pig and a gander, 
633-4 ; of an ox by the concubine of 
a clerk, 642; of a man struck by 
lightning, 649 ; a pilgrim restored to 
life in order to take the sacrament and 
die, 657 ; after seven days, related 
without attestation, 660 ; of two 

children, 670 ; William declines to 

accept a case, without witnesses, 686 ; 

doubts another case, 690 
" Decalvare," meaning of, 276a 
Decline, 507 
Deformity, 485, 535, etc. 
Demon, apparition of a, 483 
Demoniacs cured, 623 ; one talks 

various languages, 680 
Denarius, St. Thomas bids a man 

offer a denarius, 526 ; miraculously 

restored, 559 
Denial of cures, 476-7 
Denis, St., 276, 623 
Devizes, chapel at, 695 
Diarrhoea, 482 
Diocletian, coin of, 531 
Disappointments for those expecting 

miracles, 476-7 
Dishonesty detected, 491 
Dislocation of arm, 529 
" Dog, eating of," an error for "eating 

of flesh," 713 (n. 3) 
Dogs silenced by Benedict in the name 

of St. Thomas, 566 
Doors " open spontaneously," 88 ; the 

cloister door and the Cathedral 

door, 87-8, 93, 102 (n. 6) 
Dreams, frightful, 459 
Dress, vanity of, 666 
Dropsy, 495, 565, 597 
Drowning, deliverance from, 777,783 ; 

restoration after, 567-8, 741 
Duel, judicial, 573 
Dumbness, cured, 466, 519, 578 ; 

William on the advantages of, 625 
"Duplication," instances of, 347, 

365-8, 726 
Durham, bishop of : see Puiset, Hugh de 
Dwarf, a demon in the form of a, 450 
Dysentery, 481 

Earth, fall of, 771 

Edification, facts suppressed for, 370 

Edith, St., 534 

Edmund, .St., seen in a vision with St. 

Thomas, 602 ; resorted to for a cure, 

Edward I., his " wink," 363 
Edwin, said by the French to mean 

"foolish," 687 



Eels, a sign of water, 694 

Eggs, inscribed with the Martyr's 

name, 652 
Eilward (or Ailward) of Westoning, 

710 : see Mutilation 
Eleanor, queen, 747 
Elias, of Evesham, 22-3 
Elmo, St., his fire, attributed to St. 

Thomas, 668 
Elphege, St., 58, 255-7 
English, an antiphon in, 594 
Eparchius, St., 689 
Epilensy, or Epilepsy, three kinds of, 

defined, 598 ; cured, 598, 676 
Eucharist, administration of, deferred, 

but received after death, 657 
Evidence, internal, importance of, 

" Evovae," meaning of, 594 (n. 5) 
Exaggerations, 425, 433 
Extremity, delivery in, 509, 608 (n. 5), 

Eyes, restoration of, 710 { 1 1 ), possibly 

explicable, 718-20 
Eye-witnesses, evidence of, 358 

Face, tumour in, 470 

Falcon belonging to Henry II., 692 

Fall, recovery after a, 551 

Fall of earth, 771 ; of a wall, 755 

Fallacies : see Fitness of Things, and 

Family differences healed, 574 
Fermin, physician of Canterbury, 426a ; 

his vision, 592 
Festivals, working on, punished, 569, 

605, 675 
Fevers, 453, 467, etc. 
Finding, miracles of, 620-2 
Fingers contracted and restored, 605 
Fire, preservation from, 548, 668 ; part 

of Canterbury Cathedral destroyed by, 

Fish, St. Thomas's, 790-4 
Fistula, 490 ; recurrence of, 667 
"Fitness of Things," instances of its 

influence, 296 (n. 66), 351, 375, 

377-9, 447, 726, 811 
Fitznigel, 68a 
Fitzranulph, 116a 
Fitzstephen, William, date of his 

biography, 15 ; the earliest edition of 
his work, 15a, 144 (n. 6), 317 (n. 3), 
423 (n. 1), 795; contrast between 
him and Herbert of Bosham, 211 ; 
fond of allusions to Latin poetry, 267 
(n. 7) ; differs from others in omitting 
the threats of outrage after themurder, 
423 ; his account of the Water of St. 
Thomas, 424 
Fitzurse, Reginald, struck the first VjIow 
at the Martyr, 244-6 ; St. Thomas 
orders prayers for, 637 
Flood, deliverance from a, 703 
Flores Historiarum, 347, 367 
Foliot, Gilbert, Bishop of London, 
restored to health, 615-6 ; his steward 
(also called Foliot) convinced by a 
miracle, 522 
Foot, miraculously pierced, 681 
Footsteps, the last footsteps of St. 

Thomas, 162-5 
Foreign cures, 452, 552 
Forest laws, offences against, 573 
Francis, St., Legend about the baptism 

of, \Q2b 
French, a knight's son in England needs 
to be taught French, 632 ; Gamier 
praises his own French, 632 (n. 4) : 
Benedict, in a vision, speaks P'rench 
to the Martyr, who replies in Latin, 
Fringe, a, of the Martyr's vesture, 

restores sanity, 650 
Froisart, textual variations in, 364 

Galen, quoted, 767 (i) 

Gander, a, resuscitated, 634 

Gamier, date of his poem, 35-9 ; re- 
ceived information from St. Thomas's 
sister, 39a ; praises the poor, 4 ; his 
relation to Anon. I., 25a, 184a, 253, 
401 ; text seems corrupt, 112 (n. 22) ; 
his account of St. Thomas's rescue 
from drowning, 358 ; describes St. 
Thomas as working cures at Pontigny, 

Gervase, his account of the Martyrdom, 

Gibbon, his attempt to explain the 
success of Christianity, 832 

Giraldus Cambrensis, 796 (n. 9), 806-7 



Glasgow, Bishop of, 783 (16) 

Glass, ancient vessel of, discovered, 677 

Glove, St. Thomas's, works a cure, 529 

Gospels, the, parallel between them and 
the biographies of St. Thomas, 830- 

" Gradus," sing., a flight of steps, 143 ; 
William substitutes "vestigia," 146 ; 
various traditions about, 162-5 

Grandison, 340, 806-7 

Greek words, used and misused by 
William of Canterbury, 146 (n. 9), 

Grim, Edward, date of his biography, 
13 ; did not bear the Archbishop's 
cross, 70a ; said by some to have 
been rebuked by the Archbishop, 
226 ; appears to have borrowed from 
John of Salisbury and an anonymous 
writer, 315a ; value of his evidence, 
350 ; inaccurate when he ceases to 
be an eye-witness, 357-8 ; his account 
of St. Thomas's rescue from drowning, 
397 ; his account of the first miracle 
and the burial, 418-21 ; declares that 
the Martyr was not at first appreciated 
by the majority of the monks, 418 ; 
wounded while clasping the Arch- 
bishop, 218 ; said by the Saga to 
have been miraculously cured the 
same night, 444, 810 ; says that 
Benedict was disliked and insulted 
by King Henry, 541 ; his name 
chosen to give authority to fictitious 
" Passions," 808 ; details of his 
miraculous cure as given by Pseudo- 
Grim, 810 

Hair shirt, St. Thomas', a portion of, 

works a cure, 529, 758 (10) 
Halter, a, preserved as a relic, 640 
Hameline, earl of Warrenne, 659 
Handkerchief, a, blessed by St. Thomas, 

effects a cure, 462 
Hanging, deliverances from, 638, 641 
Hawk, cured of a broken leg, 642 ; 
restored to life, 642 ; recovered when 
lost, 626, 642, 664 ; story of one 
belonging to Henry II., 692 
Hawking, St. Thomas in his youth fond 
of, 397-401 

Head, pains in, 496, 575 

Hemorrhoids, 453 

Henry II., King, visited the tomb of 
St. Thomas, 17 ; description of this 
in the Florcs Hisioriarurn^ 347, 367 ; 
his self-purgation at Avranches, 28, 
416 ; dreams that he is rescued by 
St. Thomas from falling into an abyss, 
421 (n. I ) ; at first discouraged visitors 
to the Martyr's tomb, 431 ; dislikes 
and insults Benedict, 541 ; his public 
penitence, 592 ; miracles for his sake, 
618-9 ; releases a prisoner whom St. 
Thomas has freed, 619 ; hears a 
Templar's dream, 658 

Henry, the younger king, son of Henry 
II., makes war against his father, 
416, 672 ; his sorrow for the Martyr's 
death, 423 ; the Archbishop of Rouen 
consecrates an altar to St. Thomas 
for, 615 

Henry of Houghton, the testimony of, 

Herbert of Bosham, instructed the 
Archbishop in Scripture, 19 ; date 
and character of his biography, 20 ; 
cannot lie trusted as regards analogies 
between the Martyr and the Saviour, 
108a, 327. 432 (n. 2) ; his prolixity, 
223 (n. 8), 227 (n. 30), 326; re- 
presents St. Thomas as falling before 
the Altar, 276 (n. 26) ; author of a 
letter ostensibly written by the Arch- 
bishop of Sens, 276a, 350 (n. l); 
substitutes Robert de Broc for Hugh 
Mauclerc, 279 ; his silence about the 
miracles, 429 

Herlwin, Prior of Canterbury, 540 

Hernia, 575, 758 (3) 

Herring-fishers, delivered, 722 

Hingan, cured of fits, 581 

Holidays (on Saturday), custom of 
drinking on, 710 (i), see 777 (2) 

Holland, preservation from flood in, 

Horse, falling through a bridge, 664 ; 
recovered when lost or stolen, 620, 
637 ; eye of, curetl, 517 

Hospital on Shooter's Hill, 694 

Hugh de Perac, a man of blood, 646 

Hugh de Puiset : see Puiset 



Hugh of Horsea, also called Mauclerc, 

Hugh of Morville : see Morville 

Imagination, force of, 486 
Imperfect cures, 486, 487, 490, 565 
Imposture, the monks of Canterbury 

attempt to guard against, 455, 466 ; 

as to St. Thomas's Water, effects a 

cure, 563 ; fails to effect a cure, 563 

(n. 5) 
" Improvisum" (?) means "unprovided," 

Influenza, 652 

Ireland, Henry II. 's wars in, 17 
Irish, spoken by St. Thomas in a vision 

to an Irishman, 612 
Ithamar, St., of Rochester, a miracle 

claimed for, 521 

James, St. : see Compostella 

Jerusalem, pilgrimage to, 637 

Jews, intercourse with, discouraged, 

John of Salisbury, Bishop of Chartres, 
date of his biography, 16 ; specially 
mentioned by Fitzstephen as deserting 
the Archbishop, 126 ; writes for the 
Pope rather than for truth, 173 ; at- 
tributes to the knights the outrage 
on the Archbishop's body, 271 ; his 
inaccuracy unpardonable, 352 ; his 
literary reputation caused later writers 
to borrow from him, 383 ; his testi- 
mony to the number of the Martyr's 
miracles, 411 ; his letter to the bishop 
of Clermont attesting a cure of leprosy 
John, St., a vision of, 673a 
Justinian, on legacies, 645 

Kings, visiting the Martyr's tomb, 441 
Knife, wound from, 644, 681 

Lamb, a, restored to life, 630 
Lameness, cures of, 470, 485, 508, 

535, etc. 
Latin, miraculously written by a nun 
ignorant of Latin, 426 ; Satan com- 
pels a clerk to talk nothing but Latin, 

653 ; a demon in a woman talks 
Latin, 680 ; St. Thomas, in a vision, 
replies in Latin to a question from 
Benedict in French, 404a 
Laurence, St., cure in the shrine of, 

Legend i^see Saga), the legend of St. 
Thomas's fish, 790-4 ; the legend of 
.St. Thomas miraculously rescued from 
drowning, 397-401 ; poetic legends, 
813 ; legends may spring up within 
two or three years after a Martyr's 
death, 818 ; may have several contri- 
butory causes, 378a 
Legs {see Lameness), waxen, offered to 

St. Thomas, 492 
Leighton Buzzard, 710 (4) 
Leper, emjiloyed to carry a message 

from St. Thomas, 732 (8) 
Leprosy, the first cure of, 544 ; followed 
by a relapse, 544-5 ; a case attested 
by the Dean of Chesterton, 546 ; 
Gerard of Lille, 570 ; other cases, 
610-2, 628, 661, 707, 744, 747, 
767 ; various kinds of, 767 (8) ; no 
Saint has equalled St. Thomas in 
curing, 647 
Letters of attestation {see also Puiset), 
attesting the cure of disease, 629 ; 
attesting deliverance from hanging, 
641 ; from the burgesses of Bedford, 
attesting the restoration of eyesight, 
711 ; from the Bishop of Norwich, 
attesting a cure of cancer, 738 ; from 
the Dean of Gloucester, attesting 
deliverance from a fall of earth, 772. 
" Lictors," a name given to the Arch- 
bishop's murderers, 129 (n. 7), 277 
Lightning, death by, 649 
Liver, disease of, 461, 483, etc. 
Losing and finding, miracles of, 620-2 
Lucan, quoted by William, 721, 722, 

Luci, Richard de, converses with Henry 
of Houghton about St. Thomas, 532 
" Lundrensis," for " Londoniensis," 

"Lying," Gamier on, 36; tendency 
to, 350-1 

Madness, cured, 475, 486, 558, 653 



Magic, the Canterbury cures imputed 
to, 488 

Magnusson, Eirikr, Mr., Preface, p. ix., 
on the date of Garnier's \xiem, 39a ; 
on the relation of Anon. I. to Gamier, 

Mariners, miracles wrought for, 562, 

Marlow bridge, 654 

Mar)', the Blessed Virgin, mention of, 
inserted by Anon. X. in a narrative of 
Benedict's, 439 ; assists St. Thomas 
in mending his hair drawers, 815 

Matilda of Cologne, the madness of, 

" Matthew of Westminster," 30a, 347 

Matthew Paris, 347 

Mauclerc : see Hugh of Horsea 

•' Measuring for a candle " {see Candle), 

Medway river, drowning in the, 567 

Members, restoration of: see Mutilation 

Memorial, the Martyr's tomb or Me- 
morial, miracles worked near, 466, 
468, 475, 483, 507, etc. ; at first, 
the multitude were not admitted to 
it, 460 ; a boy punished by St. 
Thomas for lying on it, 476; the 
tomb surrounded with a wall, 486 ; 
a madman is cured after lying on it, 

Metaphor, treated as prose, 373-5 ; 
originates legends, 447 

" Milk," in a vision, meaning the 
Martyr's blood, 474, 771 (6) 

Millwheel, deliverance of St. Thomas 
from, 397 ; deliverance of a child 
from, 631 

Miracles of St. Thomas, the {see also 
Memorial, Cures), at first confined 
mainly to the jxxir, 403, 428 ; Bene- 
dict's account of the first miracle, 
410 ; FitKtephcn's account, 424 ; 
Benedict's fifth miracle exaggerated 
by Anon. V., 425a; attempts made 
by the Martyr's enemies to suppress 
the miracles, 427; Ilerliert's silence 
about, 429 ; throw light on the 
miracles wrought in the first century 
of the Church, 450 ; the first thirty, 
as given by Benedict and William re- 

voi.. M 

spectively, 453 ; " mirthful miracles," 
479 ; miracles of punishment {see 
Punishment) ; the moral effect of, 
507-10 ; degeneration of, 617 ; a 
man of many miracles, 626 ; the use 
of, to preserve ' ' the integrity of 
Divine law and the liberty of the in- 
violable Church," 661 ; " festive 
miracles," 662 ; miracles commem- 
orated in the stained glass of Canter- 
bury Cathedral, 736 ; the good and 
evil resulting from the miracles as a 
whole, 821-6 ; the fading away of 
miracles of St. Thomas and in the 
Christian Church in the first century, 
836 ; false miracles and true, 837, 
843-9 ; the real use of, 851 

Money, miracles as to, 559-61 ; why 
St. -Thomas likes money, 627 ; offer- 
ings of money, 524, 544, 628 ; ex- 
acted by St. Thomas, 645 

Monks of Canterbury, the, their at- 
tempts to prevent imposture, 455, 
487, 509 (n. 5) ; dissensions among, 

Morville, Hugh of, 212-4, 727; the 
date of his death, 820 

Murderers of St. Thomas, the, rumours 
about, 30 ; legends about, 820 

Musard (?) (Malae-Artes), pretends to 
be blind, and is visited Mrith blind- 
ness, but cured, 564 

Mutilation, healed, 676, 710-20 ; theft 
under the value of a nummns not 
punishable by, 710 (3) ; the cases of 
Eilward of Westoning and others, 
710-20; performed with cruelty, 
714 ; these cases possibly, in part, 
explicable, 718-9 

Neck, broken, 660 

Newington, near Sittinglxjurne, miracles 

at, 533-5 
Nightmare, 459 
Northampton, the Archbishop at, 16, 

Norway, pilgrims from, 664 
" Nummus," theft under the value of a, 

710 (3) 

Oblation of sinners refused, 622 



" Obols," miraculously provided, 560 ; 

restored, 621 ; refused by St. Thomas, 

Obstruction, internal, 453, 472 
Odo of Falaise, comes to the Martyr's 

tomb in disguise, 547 
Odo, Prior of Canterbury, afterwards 

Abbot of Battle, 540, 652 
"Offendere," means "come suddenly 

on," 155 
Offerings to St. Thomas (see Candles), of 

waxen legs, 492 ; of waxen anchors, 

723 ; of money, the first instances, 

524 ; their efficacy, 642 ; of four 

silver pieces, 732 (7) 
Ophthalmia, signs of prevalence of, 433<z 
Ordeals, 573 ; ordeal by water, 710 

Oxen, recovered from thieves, 701 

Palermo (?), 698 

Pall of St. Thomas, miracle wrought 

by, 465 
Paper, a paper of St. Thomas's miracles 

cures dropsy, 578 
Paralysis, cured, 480, 508, 679 ; in- 
flicted and cured, 727 
Pardoner, a, 464 
Participle, pres. act., used as past, 

270a, 264, 268, 285 (n. 54) 

(comp. 323a) 
Pater Nosters, to be said for the soul of 

St. Thomas's father, 562 
" Patronus," the, of a church, 644 

(n. 5) 
Pebble, in the ear, a, 552 
Perjury, punished miraculously, 487 
Peter, St., a man punished for working 

on the day of the Festival of his 

Chair, 569 
Phials for .St. Thomas's Water, miracles 

respecting, 520 
Physician, of Canterbury, the, 495, 598 
Physicians, disparaged by William of 

Canterbury, 598, 599, 602, 603 
Pictures of the Martyrdom, 249, 284 

(n. 52) 
Pig, restored to life, 633 ; preserved 

fresh after drowning, 662 
Pilgrimage, a, on foot from Shropshire, 

564 ; a vow of, changes a step-son's 

hatred to affection, 574 ; cures take 
place during, 601 ; to be made on 
foot, not in a carriage, 603 ; a man 
punished for dissuading, 623 ; be- 
came profitable, 680 ; punishment 
for delaying, 732 (12); the pro- 
spective benefits of, 783 (5) 

Pilgrims, kiss the footsteps of the Mar- 
tyr, 163 (13) ; sang a hymn as they 
ascended the steps to his grave, 165 
(n. 4) ; sometimes depart from Can- 
terbury cured, unknown to the 
monks, 513 ; a pilgrim vows to give 
alms to everyone that asks in the 
name of St. Thomas, 560 ; a pilgrim, 
thrown overboard as dead, restored 
to his vessel, 636 ; a pilgrim restored 
to life that he may receive the sacra- 
ment and die, 657 

Plagues, visit King Henry's army in 
Ireland, 600 

Poetry and Romance, the origin of 
legends, 814-5 

Poison, 653 

Poitiers, Bishop of, 503, 641 

Polypus, cured, 496 

" Pomerium," for " pomarium," 52 

Pontefract, 732 (i) 

Pontigny, evidence from, to be regarded 
with suspicion, 800-1 

"Pontigny, Roger of" : see Anon. I. 

Poor, the, praised by Gamier, 4 ; the 
poor alone at first visited the Mar- 
tyr's tomb, 428, 431 

Pope, the, St. Thomas, in a vision, 
pleads before, 802 ; St. Thomas 
turns water into wine for, 813 

Possession, demoniacal, 623, 680 

Priests, large proportion of, in William's 
Book of Miracles, 452 ; a married 
priest, 691 

Priors of Canterbury, 540 

Prison, deliverance from, 619, 638 

Procession, a, punishment for neglect 
to join, 681 

" Proferri " for " praeferri," 70 

Pseudo-Grim, 808-12 

Puiset, Hugh de, Bishop of Durham, 
656, 710(13), 712 

Punishment, miracles of, 488, 489, 
505, 727 {see also Vows) 



Pyx, a, holding the Water of St. 
Thomas, split, 479 

QuadriloguSy the two editions of, la ; 
the Early Quadrilogits, by whom 
compiled, 21a ; errors of, 105 (n. 1 1 ) : 
alters texts to harmonize them, 20a ; 
duplicates the outrage on the Arch- 
bishop's body, 368 ; the Late Quad- 
rilo^ts, 23 ; describes the miraculous 
withering of a tree, 378, 436 (n. 8) 

Quinsy, 489 

Rain, averted from a nun, 550 
Redness in the sky, 33, 438 
Reginald Fitzurse, called "Reinaldus" 

by Grim, 170 [see 224a) ; struck the 

first blow^at the Archbishop, 244-6 : 

see Fitzurse 
" Rejoice Jerusalem," the day of, 732 (8) 
Relapses, 487 ; of a leper, 544 ; several 

instances related by Benedict, none 

by William, 545 (n. 2) 
Relics, diseases cured by, 492 ; lost and 

miraculously restored, 585, 621 
Resurrection proved by miracles, 635 
Revelations, to Emma of Halberton, 

606 ; to Godelief of Laleham, 607 
Revivification : see Death, restoration 

Richard I., false report of his return 

from captivity, 585 
Richard, Archbishop of Canterbury, 540 
Richard of Coventry, miracles accumu- 
lated for, 598 
Ring recovered, 621 ; rings used as 

charms, 608 
Robbers, delivery from, 637 
Robbery of money proved, 663 
Robert of Merton, 26, 126 
Rochester (see Ithamar, St.), pilgrims 

resort to, for cure, 521, 530 ; great 

fire at, 648 
Roesa, a name wrongly given to St. 

Thomas's mother, 27 
Roger, a "custodian of the sacred 

body," cures lameness in the name of 

the Martyr, 566 
Roger, Archbishop of York, an enemy 

of .St., 628; supplies Church- 
down with water, 771 

Rohesia, the name of St. Thomas's 

sister, 27 (n. 8) 
" Romance," the Romance language, 

" Romanum " distinguished from 

Latin, 653 
Rome, pilgrimage to, 558 
Rose, a name given by John Fox to 

St. Thomas's mother, 27 (n. 8) 
Roxburgh, John of, delivered from 

drowning in the Tweed, 783 

-Sacrament, "let earth or grass be your 
sacrament," 688 ; an Abbot scruples 
to give the sacrament, because he has 
partaken of " carnal food," 657 

Saga, the, date of, 40 : its regard for 
" the Fitness of Things," 98 ; relates 
a miracle about the Archbishop's 
footsteps, 163 ; substitutes "mitre" 
for " cap," 190 ; says that Grim bore 
the cross, 192 ; makes St. Thomas 
turn to the East towards the Altar, 
232 ;substitutesthedeBrocs for Hugh 
Mauclerc, 296;describesSt. Thomas's 
rescue from drowning, 400; says that 
the Holy Ghost descended on the 
blood of St. Thomas, 443 ; origin of 
its legends, 447 ; contrast between the 
Saga and a contemporary letter, 448 

Saints'-days, working on, is punished by 
disease, 535, 569, 675 

Saladin, 586 

Salerna, of Ifield, delivered from a well, 

Salisbury Plain, 511 

Salt wood, 287 

Samson of Oxfordshire, a dumb man, 
made drunk in order to detect im- 
posture, 466 

Saracen, conversion of a, 698 

Saracens, captivity among, 586 

Satan, in the form of a maid-servant, 
777 (3) 

Saturday, holiday on, 710 (l), 777 (n. 2) 

Saviour, the, accounts of the Martyr 
conformed to those of the Saviour, 
108a, 201, 209, 226, 266 (n. 6), 
878, 432 ; parallel between the 
Martyr and the Saviour, 834-8 

Scholar (" scholasticus "), a, cured of 
liver complaint, 483 



School-girl, a, in the twelfth century, 

Scotland, King of, the, defeated by King 
Henry's forces, 347, 672-3 

Sea (see Mariners), calmed for Prince 
Henry, 615 

Sefrid, a German monk, miracles re- 
ported by, 678-83 

Self-deception, or lying ? 511 

Self-mutilation, 682 

Sens, the Archbishop of, letter from, 

Sepulchral vessel, punishment for ill- 
using, 677 

Sermons, narratives resembling, 599, 

Service-book provided for a chapel of 
St. Thomas, 694 

Severin, St., miracle imputed to, 503 

Ship {see also Mariners), a, comes back 
by herself, 721 

"Shipwrecked," how used, 777 (7), 

Shoes, finery" in, punished, 666 

Shooter's Hill, 694 

Silvester, St., restored a bull to life, 

Sin before birth punished, 477 

Solomon of London, nearly a hundred 
years old, 493 

" Spiculatores," a form of " speru- 
latores," 128 (n. 6) 

Spur, lost and found, 621 

Stanley, Dean, author oi Memorials of 
Canterbury, unfair to " the monks," 
65-6 ; his representation of Hugh of 
Morville, 212-4, 303 ; misplaces the 
Archbishop's "coarse" words, 217 ; 
misled by Anon. H., 226, 237 ; 
probably in error as to Tracy, 239 ; 
misled by William of Canterbury, 
258-63; misled by Fitzstephen, 298- 
300 ; misinterprets Fitzstephen's ac- 
count about the desertion of the 
Archbishop's body, 337-40 

Starling delivered by invocation of St. 
Thomas, 693 

Stone, cure of, 581 

Stones, used as remedies, 490 

Storm, said to have followed the Mar- 
tyrdom, 316 ; probably without 

truth, 341-6 ; a providential storm, 

Suicide, attempted, 690, 777 
"Super" and "sup-" confused, 737 

(II), 793a 
Swellings cured, 496, 529, 575, etc. 
Sylvester : see Silvester, St. 
".Synanchy," 709 (2) 

"Taratantara," danced by a boy restored 
to health, 583 

Templar, a, his dream, 658 

Tennyson, unfair to "monks," 65-6; 
says that Grim bore the cross, 84 ; 
his representation of Hugh of Mor- 
ville, 212-4 ; softens the Archbishop's 
last words, 216 ; misled by Anon. H., 
226 ; misled by William of Canter- 
bury, 258-63 

Theft detected, 626 

Thomas, St. (Water of: see Water); 
his parentage, 27 ; his Martyrdom, 
41-304 ; represented as praying for 
his murderers, ISO ; his wounds, 
traditions about, 264, 270 (n. 13), 
284 (n. 50), 285, 331, 334 ; his last 
words not those attributed to him by 
Fitzstephen and Stanley, 298, 312 ; 
his Martyrdom misdated by most 
writers, 318, 346 ; accounts of his 
Martyrdom conformed to those of the 
Saviour, 108a, 201, 209, 226, 266 
(n. 6), 378, 432 ; how saved from 
drowning, 397-401 ; his asceticism, 
408, 420, 422; the appearance of 
his face, as seen in visions, 406 ; his 
blood collected, 421-2 ; his body 
hidden behind the altar of the Virgin 
Mary, 484 ; his sanctity slandered, 
489; doubted, 492; his "merry 
jests," 559 ; his body remained in 
the crypt till 1220 a.d., 592; he is 
blamed by patients whom he does 
not at once cure, 597 ; because of 
relapse, 667 ; speaks Irish to an 
Irishman in a vision, 612; "offers 
his blood to enemies as well as to 
friends," 616 ; why he is glad to 
accept money, 627 ; orders prayers 
for Fitzurse, 637 ; pushes a ship off 
a shoal, 722 ; requites a former 



sen'ant, 737 (16); his pilgrims are 
discouraged at first by the Abbot of 
Reading, 744 (2) ; appears to Salerna 
in a well, saying "Thou shalt not 
die," 775 (5) ; his alleged vision at 
Pontigny, 795-805 ; said by Gamier 
to have wrought cures at Pontigny, 
796 ; explanation of the story of his 
mother's Saracenic origin, 812 ; turns 
water to wine for the Pope, 813 ; a 
true saint, though militant, 829-33 ; 
at Northampton, 831 ; the causes of 
his {X)wer over the English people, 

Thomas, St., Apostle, associated with 
St. Thomas of Canterbury, 695 

Throat, Satan constricting the, 751 (6) 

Thumb, cut, cured, 552 

"Thunder-clap, a," in a man's head, 
precedes a miraculous cure, 474 

Tilting, 599 (n. il) 

Tracy, William de, probably not the 
striker of the first blow, 244-50 ; 
Gamier's account of, 288 ; legends 
about, 817 

Tradition, oral, misleading, 433-4 ; the 
source of legend, 816-8 

Traditions, about the Martyr's wounds, 
common to many writers, 382-4 

Trance, a, 737 (7) 

Translation, errors in, 362 

Tree, a, miraculously withered, 378, 
436 (n. 8) 

Tumour (see Swelling), 478 ; " tumour 
of mind punished by tumour of body," 

Tweed, the river, 783 

Ulcers, 453, 737 (4), etc. 

Variety, of diseases, 453 ; in the manner 
of cure, 513 

Verbal corruptions, 32, 70 (n. i), 71 
(n. 4), 95 (n. 8), 324^,324 (n. 16), 
361, 459ti, 532 (n. 4), 710 (10), 
711 (12), 713 (n. 3), 793, 797 
(n. 2) 

Verses, English {see Aniiphon) ; Latin, 
alx>ut the date of the Martyrdom, 
818 ; about St. Thomas's Water, 608 
(n. 5) ; al)OUt the Archbishop's 

wanderings, 703 (n. 3) ; comic, 656, 

Viaticum, the, a pilgrim restored to life 
to receive, 647 

" Vicarius," the, of a " Patronus," 644 
(n. 5) 

Visionary terrors, 459 

Visions, of Jesus, or the Martyr, crucified 
in the crypt of Canterbury Cathedral, 
146, 162a, 426a ; of St. John, 673a; 
of priests singing an antiphon to St. 
Thomas, 593-4 ; of the Martyr with 
the blood-streak, 727 (4), 406, 558, 
etc. ; of " the angel of the English 
clothed in white," 646; of St. 
Thomas saying that he must cure one 
hundred and thirteen sick folk that 
night, 655 ; of St. Thomas clothed 
in red, 698, 712a ; of St. Thomas 
clothed in white, with his pastoral 
staff, 710 (9) ; of St. Thomas bare- 
foot, 607 ; of St. Thomas threatening 
with a staff, 645 ; of St. Thomas 
with St. Edmund, 602 ; St. Thomas's 
alleged vision at Pontigny, 795-805 

Vomiting, caused by the Water of St. 
Thomas, 472-3, 510 

Vows (see Pilgrimage), of a journey to 
Jerusalem, fasts, and denarii, 544 ; 
must be paid by a man for whom 
others have vowed without his know- 
ledge, 598 ; punishment for delay in 
paying, 601 ; why St. Thomas heeds 
vows, 627 ; neglect to pay, terribly 
punished, 691 ; neglect to vow a 
bullock at a neighbour's suggestion, 
punished, 690 

Wall, fall of a, 755 

War, the Irish, censured by William, 
600, 637 ; the civil, 485 

Water, swallowed in drowning, 
described by William as miraculously 
returning to nothing, 637, 741 (8) 

Water of St. Thomas, the, Fitzstephen's 
account of the comix)sition of, 424 : 
Gamier on, 442 ; used at first with 
diffidence, 458 ; mir.iculously multi- 
plied and diminished, 463-4, 512 ; 
fin pliials for, 464; slips miraculously 
away, 479 ; detects dishonesty, 491 ; 



changed to milk, 632 ; to blood, 551; 
boils in a vessel, 512, 552 ; at first, 
not generally used, 751 (4) ; the non- 
mention of, sometimes proof of the 
early date of a miracle, 740 ; cures 
and revivifications wrought by, 483, 
492, 741, 744, 758, etc. 

Water, ordeal of, 573, 710 (5), 710 (7) 

Water, ordinary, substituted for that of 
St. Thomas, effects a cure, 563 ; fails 
to effect a cure, 563 (n. 5) 

Wax, legs imitated in, 492 ; a horse's 
eye, 665 ; anchors, 723 ; sold by the 
monks of Canterl^ury, 624 

Web, a, stolen and recovered, 665 

Well, a, deliverance from, 777 

Well, St. Thomas's, the Saga's account 
of, 445 

Welsh, the, their reverence for relics, 
516 ; miracles on, 508-9, 565 

Wharfe, the river, 662 

Whitsun-eve, any one christened on, 
cannot be drowned or burned, 710 (4) 

Whitsuntide, 1171, miracles during, 
502-6 ; working on the Wednesday 
of, punished miraculously, 605 

William of Canterbury, date of his 
writings, 17 ; confesses that he fled 
from the Archbishop's murderers, 
142, 272; his fondness for Greek 
terms, 146 (n. 9), 611a ; his appendix 
to his account of the Martyrdom, 
320-4 ; his apparent allusions to 
Benedict, 414-5 ; his indifference to 
chronological order, 415-6 ; his 
principles in arranging miraculous 
narratives, 452 ; his attitude to 
Benedict, 538-42 ; conjectured by 
Mr. Magnusson to be a native of 
Ireland, 589 ; quotes Latin poetry, 
592 ; traces of re-editing, 592 ; his 
fondness for technical terms, 612 ; 
quotes English, 594 ; quotes Irish, 
612 ; sajrs that the Martyr *' does 

greater works " than the Saviour, 
616 ; his neglect of evidence, 625 : 
blends Isaiah with Horace, 634 : 
dramatizes, 644-5 ; quotes Boetius. 
643 ; Virgil and Justinian, 645 ; 
Plautus, 656 ; reports an unattested 
wonder, 660 ; apparently Sub- Prior 
under Odo, 661a ; his style degener- 
ates still further, 674 ; oscillates 
between credulity and incredulity, 
684-7 ; decides to accept the state- 
ments of rich people, 688-9 ; apostro- 
phizes his own hand, 688 ; appears 
to have left a story incomplete, 705 ; 
seems to be correcting a narrative of 
Benedict's, 720 ; quotes Lucan, 721, 
722 ; magnifies a miracle reported 
more accurately by Benedict, 721 ; 
Virgil's influence on, 723 (n. 3) ; 
quotes Galen on the cure of leprosy, 
767 (I) 

William of Monkton, followed by mira- 
cles during his travels in Italy, 626 

"Windas,"a, described by William, 723 

Wine, St. Thomas's Water changed to, 

Wink, a, attributed by Lingard to 
Edward I., origin of the error, 363 

Wiscard, the King's falcon, miraculously 
healed by St. Thomas, 692 

Witnesses, required to attest disease, 
487, 509 (n. 5), 631 

"Womb of the Mother," the Martyr is 
said to have been killed in, i.e. in the 
Cathedral, 228a, 294a 

Woodcock, a, miraculously caught, 642 

Worms, hung up in a church, 494 ; 
issue from patients, 478 

Wound, a, received in tilting, healed. 
599 (n. 11) ; other wounds healed, 
453, 599, 646 

Yngelrann, 727 (i) : see also 727 (7) 
York, Archbishop of: see Roger 

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